© 2003

Political Virtue and Shopping

Individuals, Consumerism, and Collective Action

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Michele Micheletti
    Pages 1-36
  3. Michele Micheletti
    Pages 37-72
  4. Michele Micheletti
    Pages 73-117
  5. Michele Micheletti
    Pages 149-168
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 169-247

About this book


Political consumerism is turning the market into a site for politics and ethics. It is consumer choice of producers and products on the basis of attitudes and values of personal and family well-being as well as ethical or political assessment of business and government practice. In the face of economic globalization and a regulatory vacuum, consumers increasingly take responsibility in their own hands, making the market an important venue for political action through their decisions of what to purchase. This book opens the readers' eyes to a new way of viewing everyday consumer choices and the role of the market in our lives, illuminating the broader theoretical and historical context of concerns about sweatshops, responsible coffee, and ethical and free trade. Contemporary forms of political consumerism - boycotts, labelling schemes, stewardship certification, socially responsible investing, etc. - are described and evaluated. Individual actions are shown to be important in the complexity of globalization.


capital community democracy environment ethics globalization Institution Internet Nation Political Action politics social capital social justice transformation trust

About the authors

MICHELE MICHELETTI is Associate Professor of Political Science, Stockholm University, Sweden.

Bibliographic information


'This is a theoretically-sophisticated and empirically-rich examination of the increasingly important phenomenon of political consumerism. Micheletti's book is distinguished by its comparative focus, its social science framework, and its careful analysis of the ways in which the very nature of politics has been challenged and reshaped by consumer activists. I especially like her concept of 'individualized collective action,' which nicely highlights the growing links between consumer behavior and politics. The book concludes with a valuable research agenda for the study of political consumerism. Scholars, politicians, and activists who seek to make sense of the meaning of political consumerism now have an excellent resource. Political Virtue and Shopping will take a prominent place on the bookshelf of 'required readings' in the area of consumer politics.' - Lawrence Glickman, University of South Carolina, USA

'This is a solid work of scholarship. It advances an important and novel thesis and situates its analysis both theoretically and empirically.' - David Vogel, University of California at Berkeley, USA