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


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


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

© 2024 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.