Journal Article

TOMS and the Citizen-Consumer: Assessing the Impacts of Socially-Minded Consumption

Lindsey N. Kingston and Jeanette Guellil

in Journal of Human Rights Practice

Volume 8, issue 2, pages 284-297
Published in print July 2016 | ISSN: 1757-9619
Published online May 2016 | e-ISSN: 1757-9627 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jhuman/huw004
TOMS and the Citizen-Consumer: Assessing the Impacts of Socially-Minded Consumption

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Ethical Issues and Debates
  • Human Rights and Immigration
  • Human Rights
  • Politics
  • Social Movements and Social Change

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

The norms of ethical consumption and charitable giving have led to innovative changes in human rights advocacy and fundraising, ranging from the increasing prevalence of social enterprises (SEs) and codes of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to a plethora of for-profit businesses adopting charitable goals. Despite widespread interest in these new business models, scholars know very little about the interactions between approaches to socially-minded consumption and the consumers who purchase these goods. Does purchasing a pair of TOMS shoes prompt a college student to learn more about global poverty, for instance, or attend an advocacy event? Are TOMS shoppers really citizen-consumers—or consumers who participate in political affairs through established market systems—or simply college students interested in participating in the latest fashion trend? To investigate these questions, this study surveyed 326 American undergraduate students to better understand their perspectives and actions related to purchasing TOMS products. Research data shows that businesses with a social justice component have potential to raise funds and encourage advocacy, yet companies such as TOMS also face significant challenges. In particular, respondents highlighted obstacles related to building and expanding brand recognition, engaging in social justice issues outside of local communities, and providing financial information to assuage concerns about legitimacy and transparency.

Keywords: activism; citizen-consumers; ethical consumption; human rights advocacy; social enterprise

Journal Article.  6958 words. 

Subjects: Ethical Issues and Debates ; Human Rights and Immigration ; Human Rights ; Politics ; Social Movements and Social Change

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or purchase to access all content.