The latest study found that everyday political discussions are necessary for holding corporations accountable to citizens’ anticipations. And when corporations support xenophobia and policies of the government or political parties, then people start to react to the corporation, the study found. These discussions also help to initiate “a dialog between and society and business” groups and organizations.
Adam J. Saffer, an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Aimei Yang, an associate professor at the University of Southern California, and Yan Qu a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina’s School of Media and Journalism conducted the study.
They studied a total of 1,088 total respondents, whose average age was 44.92 years and among them 44 percent were male, 55 percent were female and the other three percentages were gender fluid.
The researchers studied how the respondents reacts when in 2017 the New York City Taxi Workers Alliance called on cabbies to boycott John F. Kennedy Airport. They called such a boycott as in JFK refugees and immigrants were being detained, Uber, however, continued their services to commuters. And a large group of people perceived Uber’s such decision as profiteering attitudes cashing on the protest.
The study found that those who participate more in political discussions are more likely to join in “consumer activism.” More socially conservative respondents were found to have favorable perceptions of corporations like Uber and were less likely to engage in consumer activism. The study, however, found that for some respondents the frequency of political discussions led to more positive perceptions of Uber. Respondents’ perceptions are also depended on their ethnic backgrounds as the study stated, “Respondents with more discussion partners who have different ethnic backgrounds were more likely to see Uber in a negative light…” And the respondents who had more nonwhite friends than white friends in the discussion networks showed “greater consumer activism intentions”.
To read more: DOI: 10.1080/08838151.2019.1660130
Adam J. Saffer, Aimei Yang & Yan Qu (2019) Talking Politics and Engaging in Activism: The Influence of Publics’ Social Networks on Corporations in the Public Sphere, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 63:3, 534-565, DOI: 10.1080/08838151.2019.1660130