Every decade since their inception in the 1940s, the United Nations and the World Bank have advocated for increased investments in educational opportunities for women and girls, claiming that education is necessary for the development of full personhood (Jain, 2005). A series of studies funded by Goldman Sachs and the Nike Foundation during the mid-2000s offered a different perspective on investments in women's education: instead of arguing that education is important to human development, these corporations argued that women's education was important to markets and profits. World Bank President Robert Zoellick called this renewed push for gender equality "smart economics" and incorporated this reasoning into global education policy. My dissertation develops the argument that this form of corporate social responsibility (CSR) expands the neoliberal paradigm (the process of privatizing and creating market incentives for services previously provided by the state) by relegating efforts to achieve gender justice to the private sector, where they serve corporate profit-making agendas over those of social justice.In my dissertation, I theorize global CSR partnerships and the financialization of women's lives and argue that recipients of corporate aid are defined as valuable insofar as they are vehicles for corporate profit. I show how corporations use these campaigns to add value to their brands in two ways. First, they construct global networks of business and government officials when they launch global philanthropies and later rely on these networks to obtain profitable business contracts in developing nations. Second, they rely on coverage in mainstream and social media to increase brand value among consumers in first world nations. Media are central to this project as they are vital to the construction and dissemination of definitions about the appropriate roles for women in a society; as such, my dissertation strives to show how media contribute to the construction of citizenship for women and girls in the Global South.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation July 2014. Major:Communication Studies. Advisor: Dr. Mary Douglas Vavrus. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 205 pages.
Schowalter, Dana Marie.
Philanthropy as Gendered Global Governance: Philanthrocapitalism, Branded Citizenship, and the Selling of Corporate Social Responsibility.
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