1st Edition

Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Affairs in the British Press An Ecofeminist Critique of Neoliberalism

By Martina Topić Copyright 2022
    240 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    240 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    An ecofeminist criticism of neoliberalism, this book uses economic growth, CSR and the press coverage of environmental affairs as a case study. The author argues that CSR is part of a wheel of neoliberalism that continually perpetuates inequality and the exploitation of women and Nature. Using an ecofeminist sense-making analysis of media coverage of food waste, global warming, plastic, economic growth and CSR, the author shows how the press discourse in writing is always similar and serves to preserve the status quo with CSR being just a smokescreen that saved capitalism and just one cog in the wheel of neoliberalism. While available research offers perspectives from business and public relations studies, looking at how CSR is implemented and how it contributes towards the reputation of businesses, this book explores how the media enforce CSR discourse while at the same time arguing for environmental preservation.

    The book presents a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to explain how and why CSR is being pushed forward by the news media, and how the media preserves the status quo by creating moral panic on environmental issues while at the same time pushing for CSR discourse and economic growth, which only contributes towards environmental degradation. The original research presented in the book looks at how the media write about economic growth, plastics, food waste, CSR and global warming. This interdisciplinary study draws on ecofeminist theory and media feminist theory to provide a novel analysis of CSR, making the case that enforcing CSR as a way to do business damages the environment and that the media enforce a neoliberal discourse of promoting both economic growth and environmentalism, which does not go together.

    Examining the UK media as a case study, a detailed methodological account is provided so that the study can be repeated and compared elsewhere. The book is aimed at academics and researchers in business and media studies, as well as those in women’s studies. It will also be relevant to scholars in business management and marketing.

    1. Introduction and Personal Reflection

    2. Ecofeminism: Theory, Issues and Advocacy

    Ecofeminism as an Anti-Capitalist Movement

    Ecofeminism and the Relationship with Nature, Science and Technology

    Ecofeminism, Hierarchy and Masculinities

    Ecofeminism vs Deep Ecology Debate and The Criticism of Ecofeminism

    The Approach of the Book

    3. Corporate Social Responsibility: An Ecofeminist Reading of the Concept

    CSR Literature: Definitions, Ambiguities, and Saving Capitalism

    Shareholder vs Stakeholder Orientation to CSR

    CSR and the Media

    CSR and Women

    4. The Press Coverage of Economic Growth and CSR

    The Economic Growth

    The Coverage of Economic Growth

    The Coverage of CSR

    5. The Press Coverage of Environmental Affairs: Global Warming, Plastic and the Food Waste

    Global Warming

    The Coverage of Global Warming

    Plastic Pollution

    The Coverage of Plastic

    The Food Waste

    6. The Wheel of Neoliberalism and the Responsibility of the Press?




    Martina Topić is a Reader at Leeds Business School, Leeds Beckett University, UK. She is an editor of the ‘Culture, Media and Film’ section of the Cogent Arts and Humanities Open Access journal (Taylor and Francis), editor-in-chief of Corporate Communications: An International Journal and editor-in-chief of the book series Women, Economy and the Labour Relations.

    "This is a brilliant book on a very topical issue. I really enjoyed reading it. It’s scientifically rigorous and research-informed but at the same time interesting and easy to follow. I was amazed by the amount and variety of sources used. I would wholeheartedly recommend it both to people with advanced knowledge of the current discourse on corporate social responsibility, feminism and environmental sustainability and to people who want to familiarize themselves with these concepts."

    - Dr Ioannis Kostopoulos, Liverpool John Moore University, UK

    "There is no doubt that Martina Topić has opened a new chapter in the development of ecofeminist theory. In an original way, the author applies the conceptual legacy of socialist ecofeminism in her meticulous critical analysis of neoliberal ideology based on reporting on corporate social responsibility and environmental affairs in the British press. It is an academic book that addresses a large audience – those who are academically or actively engaged in ecofeminism, those who report on environmental issues, and those who are aware of the importance of supporting the development of socially responsible media. Of course, it is also unavoidable literature for all those who want to be informed about the potentials of ecofeminist approaches in the 21st century. "

    - Dr Marija Geiger Zeman, Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences, Croatia

    "This book brings vital new theoretical insights to bear on the political significance of ecofeminism as a global response to environmental destruction. In exploring the link between environmental destruction and the male-dominated systems responsible for the overconsumption leading the planet to an ecological crisis it highlights differences between a bourgeois liberal feminism which demands the right of women to be included within neoliberalism and an ecofeminism that has at its heart a challenge to both neoliberalism and patriarchy. It offers a timely and necessary contribution to our understanding of the ways in which the concept of corporate social responsibility has been commandeered to provide a cover for neoliberalism practices that continue to deplete natural resources ad inflict irreparable damage on the planet. Crucially it challenges the idea that technological scientific solutions are an answer to our present ecological crisis and demanding we address ideologies of domination and exploitation and the consequences of globalization and colonization which have brought us to this point. It should be read with close attention by anyone interesting in saving our planet."

    - Dr Deirdre O'Neill, University of Hertfordshire, UK / Editor: Journal of Class and Culture