Consumer Equality
Race and the American Marketplace
by Geraldine Rosa Henderson, Anne-Marie Hakstian, and Jerome D. Williams
September 2016, 194pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3376-2
$75, £58, 66€, A103
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3377-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

While many members of minority groups in the United States are familiar with consumer inequality, this issue continues to be virtually unacknowledged by most American cultural, educational, and media institutions.

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
Geraldine Rosa Henderson, MBA, PhD, is associate professor in the Department of Marketing at Loyola University Chicago. She has authored more than 50 publications, most of which are regarding various aspects of global marketplace diversity and inclusion. She is the corecipient of the Kinnear Best Paper Award for her coauthored article on social justice in the global marketplace. Henderson received her master's degree in business administration and doctorate in marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, she worked for IBM and Kraft. A "doctorpreneur" who often serves as a marketing consultant, expert witness, and research moderator, Henderson serves or has served on several nonprofit boards, including the American Marketing Association, the National Black MBA Association, and the National Society of Black Engineers.

Anne-Marie Hakstian, JD, PhD, is professor of business law at Salem State University. She earned her juris doctor degree from George Washington University Law School and a doctorate in law, policy, and society from Northeastern University. Her dissertation research focused on efforts undertaken by municipal police departments to address racial profiling. She currently works with the New York Attorney General's Office to assess compliance by a retailer with an Assurance of Discontinuance regarding consumer racial profiling. Her research was cited in the NAACP's amicus curiae brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the petitioners in Arguello v. Conoco Inc.. Hakstian's work has been published in law reviews and business journals. She serves on the editorial board of the Business Law Review. Prior to joining academia, she consulted with federal government agencies on matters of Equal Employment Opportunity law and policy.

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. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Food Marketing and Diets of Children and Youth that authored the book Food Marketing to Children and Youth: Threat or Opportunity? and was appointed by the U.S. Census Bureau to chair the 2010 Communications Contract Academic Assessment Team. He also is coeditor of two books, Advances in Communication Research to Reduce Childhood Obesity and Diversity in Advertising: Broadening the Scope of Research Directions. Williams currently serves as an associate editor of the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing. His primary research interests include multicultural marketing and public health communication. He has been an expert witness in more than 100 court cases, most dealing with consumer racial profiling.
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