Consumer boycott amid conflict: The situated agency of political consumers in the occupied Palestinian territory

Aurelie Brockerhoff, Mufid Qassoum

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    141 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Participation is central to the success of political consumption movements. To date, consumer research has explored participation from the lens of the individual consumer activist. In this article we argue that such actor-centric approaches that equate individual motivation and willingness of potential consumer activists with likely participation are limited because they imply consumer freedom and agency irrespective of context. By exploring political consumption amid conflict, we illustrate how a particular setting frames the behaviours and decision-making of political consumers. Drawing on findings from a study of consumer boycott as part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign in the West Bank (occupied Palestinian territory), we outline a set of market and societal barriers that frame the participation of potential boycotters. We show how these political, economic and sociocultural factors influence the range of possible actions for consumers and make participation more problematic, if not impossible. The findings of this study call for a need to re-evaluate how political consumption can be an oppositional or transformational practice, and support recent calls for a consideration of the roles of agency and power in consumption. To this effect, we propose the concept of ‘situated agency’ to analyse participation in political consumption that moves beyond actor-centric explanations. We hope such reconsiderations will contribute to a more nuanced understanding of participation in political consumption across different consumption contexts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)892-912
    Number of pages21
    JournalJournal of Consumer Culture
    Volume21
    Issue number4
    Early online date1 Nov 2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission
    or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or
    sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.

    Funder

    The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The field research of this project was funded through the European Commission Marie Curie International Researcher Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES), as part of a project entitled ?Perspectives of Conflict Transformation from the Middle East and Europe? (CTMEE).

    Keywords

    • Political consumption; consumer boycott; consumer agency; boycott
    • divestments and sanctions; conflict

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Business and International Management
    • Social Psychology
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Economics and Econometrics
    • Marketing

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Consumer boycott amid conflict: The situated agency of political consumers in the occupied Palestinian territory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this