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The Discourse of the Middle Ground

The Discourse of the Middle Ground In this study, Foucauldian theory is used to interpret a corporate social report published by the Royal Dutch/Shell Group to reveal the contours of an emerging corporate discourse of sustainability and the knowledge-power dynamics entailed by social reporting. The report could be read simply as a corporate attempt to reestablish discursive regularity and hegemonic control in the wake of challenges by environmentalists and human rights activists. However, the author interprets it in the context of the larger sociopolitical discursive struggle over environment and social justice and finds that Shell’s “embrace” of the concept of sustainable development has transforming effects on the company and on the notion of sustainability itself. This contradictory and ambiguous result is characteristic of discursive struggle, which is where, according to Foucault, power is played out and social change occurs. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Management Communication Quarterly: An International Journal SAGE

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References (55)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0893-3189
eISSN
1552-6798
DOI
10.1177/0893318902153001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In this study, Foucauldian theory is used to interpret a corporate social report published by the Royal Dutch/Shell Group to reveal the contours of an emerging corporate discourse of sustainability and the knowledge-power dynamics entailed by social reporting. The report could be read simply as a corporate attempt to reestablish discursive regularity and hegemonic control in the wake of challenges by environmentalists and human rights activists. However, the author interprets it in the context of the larger sociopolitical discursive struggle over environment and social justice and finds that Shell’s “embrace” of the concept of sustainable development has transforming effects on the company and on the notion of sustainability itself. This contradictory and ambiguous result is characteristic of discursive struggle, which is where, according to Foucault, power is played out and social change occurs.

Journal

Management Communication Quarterly: An International JournalSAGE

Published: Feb 1, 2002

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