This book provides a vivid examination of the issue of consumer inequality in America—one of society's most under-discussed and critical issues—through the evaluation of real-life cases, the trend of consumers suing companies for discrimination, and the application of novel frameworks to establish legitimate consumer equality.
Everyone—regardless of race, gender, or other appearance-based factors—should receive equal access and equal treatment in businesses open to the public. Unfortunately, consumer equality has yet to be achieved. In fact, marketplace discrimination remains a pervasive problem in the United States, in spite of racial inroads on other fronts—employment and housing, for example. Consumer Equality: Race and the American Marketplace is the first book to elucidate how consumer discrimination remains an unresolved, pressing, and complex issue.
Written by three well-established experts on consumer discrimination and business law who have presented their research and opinions to national and local media and as expert witnesses in court cases, this book examines the multilayered problem that results in citizens being suspected of committing a crime or detained by police or security personnel because of their ethno-racial background. This book could be considered required reading for representatives of large corporations, small businesses, and any organization interested in avoiding charges of marketplace discrimination as well as civil rights groups, community organizations, and organizations concerned about social justice.
• Provides insights from three of the recognized leading authorities in the field who have collaborated extensively in conducting research on marketplace discrimination
• Considers a wide array of lawsuits that document the growing trend of consumers taking companies to court for discrimination and examines the results of these legal cases to draw conclusions that will interest attorneys for plaintiffs and defendants in marketplace discrimination cases, consumer advocates, and public policymakers responsible for amending legislation to address issues of marketplace discrimination
• Analyzes national crime reporting databases to gain insight into how law enforcement in the marketplace impacts various racial-ethnic communities
About the Author
Geraldine Rosa Henderson, MBA, PhD, is associate professor in the Department of Marketing at Loyola University Chicago.
Anne-Marie Hakstian, JD, PhD, is professor of business law at Salem State University.
Jerome D. Williams, PhD, is distinguished professor and the Prudential Chair in Business in the Marketing Department at the Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick.
Table of Contents
Series Foreword vii
1 The History of Marketplace Discrimination and Consumer Inequality 1
2 From Stereotyping to Differential Treatment 11
3 Annoyance vs. Avoidance 31
4 The Business Case for Marketplace Diversity 55
5 Legal Protection 75
6 Consumer Racial Profiling and Shoplifting 91
7 Criminal Suspicion Cases 105
8 Mundane Consumption 123
9 Special Occasions of Marketplace Discrimination 135
10 Rx for Success: A Multicultural Plan That Strengthens the Marketplace 147
11 How to Help 167