top of page

NORDSCI Conference proceedings 2021, Book 2

Business and Management


Dr. habil. Aneta Duda


This article discusses the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the particular case of a controversial Dove campaign for Real Beauty (CFRB) and its role in the production and consumption of contemporary popular meanings of empowerment, social change, and female beauty in global consumer culture. Because in some instances such corporate strategies appear well received, we move beyond cynical dismissal to analyze corporate discourse to identify its transformative possibilities and contradictions. The analysis replaces the oversimplifying approaches to the ethics of CSR with a communicative perspective that highlights the need for a contextual examination of the ethical dilemmas that arisen from CSR practices.
In this article, I engage with this CSR campaign, using critical discourse analysis (CDA) to uncover its mechanisms and ideological functioning. CDA of the print, television, and new media texts reveals a certain juxtaposition between liberation and oppression of CFRB. The analysis show how Dove was able to transform an ordinary commodity, skin cleansing products, into a consumer activist brand through which consumers could take part in solving self-esteem and social problems.
My analysis of CFRB shows the ways that CSR often operates to co-opte the criticism by embracing it, consolidating brand loyalty and corporate profits, and defuse struggles around consumption. By doing so, CSR forms a complex strategy to legitimize particular brands and commodities, so it can be seen as the ideological force of contemporary consumer capitalism.


Corporate Social Responsibility, discourse analysis, Dove campaign


NORDSCI Conference proceedings 2021, Book 2, Conference Proceedings, ISSN 2603-4107, ISBN 978-619-7495-14-0, THE MYTH OF CSR ON THE EXAMPLE OF DOVE CAMPAIGN, 77-87 pp, DOI paper 10.32008/NORDSCI2021/B2/V4/07

bottom of page