Liza Featherstone Biography
Liza Featherstone was born on April 21, 1969. She is an American journalist and journalism professor who writes frequently on labor and student activism for The Nation and Jacobin. Featherstone was born in Washington, D.C, and grew up in Greater Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Liza Featherstone Age
Liza who was born in Washington, D.C, United states on April 21, 1969 is currently 50 years old as of 2019.
Liza Featherstone Education
She graduated with honors from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1991 and graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2008.
Liza Featherstone Husband
Featherstone lives in Brooklyn and is married to economics journalist Doug Henwood. They have a son, Ivan.
Liza Featherstone Career
Featherstone was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism at Columbia for 2007-08. From 2013to 2015 she held the Belle Zeller visiting chair in public policy at Brooklyn College. She currently teaches at NYU and Columbia’s School of International Public Affairs.
In addition to The Nation and Slate’s The Big Money, Featherstone’s writing has also appeared in Lingua Franca, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Left Business Observer, Dissent, Sydney Morning Herald, Columbia Journalism Review, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsday, In These Times, Ms., Salon.com, Nerve, Us, Nylon, and Rolling Stone. Featherstone has also written several books. She is the co-author of Students Against Sweatshops: The Making of a Movement.
In 2004, she published Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for Workers’ Rights at Wal-Mart, a history of Dukes vs. Wal-Mart, the largest civil rights class-action suit in history. Her book on focus groups and the culture of consultation will be published by OR Books in late 2016
Liza Featherstone Books
- Divining Desire: Focus Groups and the Culture of Consultation
- Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for Workers’ Rights at Wal-Mart
- “Dear Josie”: Witnessing the Hopes and Failures of Democratic Education
- Students against sweatshops
- Behind the Mirror
Liza Featherstone Divining Desire
An engaging, accessible history of the focus group, Featherstone’s survey shows how the primary purpose of the focus group has shifted from determining what we want, to selling us things we don’t.
The focus group, over the course of the last century, became an increasingly vital part of the way companies and politicians sold their products and policies with few areas of life, from salad dressing to health care legislation to our favorite TV shows, left untouched by moderators questioning controlled groups about what they liked and didn’t. Divining Desire is the first-ever popular survey of this topic.
In a lively, sweeping survey, Featherstone traces the surprising roots of the focus group in early-twentieth century European socialism, its subsequent use by the “Mad Men” of Madison Avenue, and its widespread employment today. She also explores such famous “failures” of the method as the doomed launch of the Ford Edsel, and the even more ill-fated attempt to introduce a new flavor of Coca Cola (which prompted street protests from devotees of the old formula).
As elites became increasingly detached from the general public, they relied ever more on focus groups, whether to win votes or to sell products. And, in a society where many feel increasingly powerless, the focus group has at least offered the illusion that ordinary people can be heard and that their opinions count. Yet, the more they are listened to, the less power they have. That paradox is particularly stark today, when everyone can post an opinion on social media our 24 hour focus group yet only plutocrats can shape policy.
In telling this story, Featherstone raises profound and fascinating questions about democracy and consumer society.