Social movement activists have numerous goals in mind when they choose a particular corporate target, including implementing a specific policy change, changing the norms or standards of an industry, and drawing attention to their cause. Choosing the optimal target can affect the activists’ abilities to accomplish these goals. As demonstrated through research by Tim Bartley and Curtis Child on anti-sweatshop campaigns and by Mary-Hunter McDonnell and myself on boycotts, activists do not choose corporate targets randomly. They frequently go after the largest, most dominant, and most prestigious companies in their respective industries. Continue reading
The treatment of a Houston woman, Michelle Hickman, by Target employees who told her to stop breastfeeding on the floor of the women’s department and threatened her with a ticket if she did not move prompted nationwide protests in more than 100 Target stores on December 28, 2011. The protests, referred to as “nurse-ins,” involved mothers bringing their babies to Target stores to feed them in public. For video of the protests see this ABC News report. Last Wednesday’s nurse-in has been called “one of the most comprehensive in recent memory” and has prompted questions about the effectiveness of the Nursing in Public (NIP) movement. For more about nudity as a protest tactic and breastfeeding protests in Spain called “tetadas” see Philip Carr-Gomm’s book A Brief History of Nakedness (2010).