Boycotting is a method of social ostracism, applied by organized or unorganized public opinion avoid or hold aloof from those judged unworthy of social intercourse. Economic forms of boycott are now the most common. With the mobility of today's society and hugh number of relationships any individual or group has boycotts are largely ineffective. When South Africa was boycotted, not only was she able to receive much of what she wanted, but for those things unavailable, she became self-sufficient.
Boycotting has been around as long as human society. The outcast or outlaw in simpler societies was subject to an extreme form of boycotting. In the middle ages excommunication because it carried with it denial of civil rights was also an extreme form. The right to boycott is recognized as inherent in the social nature of humans and is one of the forms in which public opinion expresses itself.