Labor, Consumerism, Media and Culture, Social Movements, Public Sociology
My teaching and research interests focus on nuanced forms of political and public participation within the context of a consumer culture. In particular, I am interested in ways consumers can leverage their power to enact social change. As a graduate student at Virginia Tech, where I received my PhD in Sociology, I became actively involved in the collegiate anti-sweatshop movement. My activism led me to focus on the political and social agency of workers and consumers facing the institutional and economic challenges posed by globalization. My dissertation, “The Politics of Purchasing: Ethical Consumerism, Civic Engagement, and Political Participation in the United States” , which I am currently revising for publication, examined the social composition and ideological motivations of ethical consumers as nuanced political actors in a consumer society. At VCU, I serve as the faculty advisor for United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS)-Local 804.
I regularly teach undergraduate and graduate courses in the Sociology of Consumption and Public Sociology.
2017. Katz, Meredith A. “’The Sweatshop Effect’: Consumer Activism and the Anti-sweatshop Movement on College Campuses” in Shopping for Change: The Possibilities and Pitfalls of Consumer Resistance edited and compiled by Joseph Tohill and Louis Hyman. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press and Toronto: Between the Lines Press.
2015. Wimberley, Dale, Katz, Meredith A., and John Paul Mason. 2015. “Mobilization, Strategy, and Global Production Networks: Advantages for Student Anti-sweatshop Activism.” Societies Without Borders 10:1.