Molly T. brought to our attention the way that Kashi Good Friends cereal is marketed with interracial friendship:

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So, what does interracial friendship have to do with organic cereal?  Absolutely nothing.  But in the U.S. at this time, the two issues have been conflated as both “lefty” concerns.  And many leftists ascribe to both and feel them to be somehow naturally linked.  Kashi knows this, so they’re attempting to mobilize consumers’ commitment to interracial friendship (though, as Molly notes, not necessarily interracial relationships) to sell their cereal.

The artificial linking of some issues with others can cause some serious problems for social movement organizations that don’t obey the rules.  Leslie King has shown this nicely with her work on anti-immigrant, pro-environment organizations.

See also this post on the social constructedness of social groups.

And on marketing and multiculturalism, see posts here, here, here, here, and here.

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Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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