Where are the Workers in Consumer-Worker Alliances? Class Dynamics and the History of Consumer-Labour Campaigns

Dana Frank
Publication Date: 
This article surveys the history of labor- and middle-class-sponsored efforts to mobilize shopping on behalf of working people from the late nineteenth century through the present.
The article analyzes the class dynamics of these movements to, first, underscore workers’ own ability to mount consumer campaigns and, second, critique middle-class campaigns in the present that can treat workers as unorganized, passive victims. It underscores the potential hierarchical dynamics inherent in consumer-labor campaigns, both between classes and within the labor movement, including dynamics of race, gender, and space.