A World for Sale? An Ecofeminist Reading of Sustainable Development Discourse

Citation:

Irving, Simon, and Jenny Helin. 2017. “A World for Sale? An Ecofeminist Reading of Sustainable Development Discourse.” Gender, Work, & Organization 25 (3): 264-78.

Authors: Simon Irving, Jenny Helin

Abstract:

The aim of this study is to examine how the sustainable development discourse created by one of its most influential proponents, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, constructs representations of gender and nature. A discourse analysis, performed from Plumwood's ecofeminist perspective, is conducted on their cornerstone text Vision 2050: The new agenda for business. We find that what might at first appear to be a roadmap out of the many crises that humanity faces today, is instead simply new twists on ‘old’ established discourses that reinforce rather than diminish forms of hierarchy and domination. Different discursive strands work together to create dualistic traits that simultaneously constructs gender, nature and some classes as a dependent ‘other’. To overcome this we elaborate on implications for teaching, research and practice.

Keywords: sustainable development, ecofeminism, Plumwood, discourse, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Topics: Development, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Year: 2017

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