New Perspectives on Research, Teaching and Practice
Section 4: CSR Communication
Section 4: CSR &ommunication PAOLA CATENACCIO The ‘Value-Orientation’ of Business Discourse: The Role of Corporate Social Responsibility in Business Communication: A Case Study 1. Introduction Over the last three decades much research has been devoted to what Fairclough (1993) has called the ‘marketization of public discourse’, i.e. the process whereby traditionally non market-oriented institutions have increasingly come to operate as if they were “ordinary businesses com- peting to sell their products to consumers” (Fairclough 1993: 141). Such process, which involves the progressive encroaching of market-based discourses upon public discourse, is the direct outcome of the commodi- fication of social domains and institutions: despite the fact that their concern is not “producing commodities in the narrower economic sense of goods for sale, [they] nevertheless come to be organized and concep- tualized in terms of commodity production, distribution, and consump- tion” (Fairclough 1992: 207; cf. also Mautner 2010). The marketization of public discourse (with the accompanying rise in the deployment of promotional strategies in public communica- tion) has become an established fact in contemporary society, leading to claims about the progressive ‘encroaching’ of promotional dis- course upon genres and discourses which were originally of a more purely informative nature (Bhatia 2004). Parallel to this increasing commodification of public (and by extension social) discourse, how- ever, in the last couple of decades another interesting phenomenon has started to emerge. It is in many ways an unprecedented development, and it points in the direction of a markedly different – in fact opposite – trend, i.e. the...
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