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Social impact disclosure and symbolic power: Evidence from UK fair trade organizations

Homaira Semeen and Muhammad Azizul Islam

CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, 2021, vol. 79, issue C

Abstract: This article unravels how fair trade organizations use social impact disclosures as forms of symbolic power amid stakeholder concerns that prevail in the fair trade field. Mobilizing Bourdieu’s notion of symbolic power and through narrative analysis of social impact disclosures and the associated rhetoric of major UK fair trade organizations, as well as their stakeholders’ rhetoric and persuasive arguments in the public domain during the period from 2006 to 2013, we show that these organizations position themselves as dominant actors in responding to stakeholders’ concerns over social inequality. We provide important insights into how social impact disclosures, silence and rhetorical strategies are used as a mechanism of symbolic power through which fair trade organizations maintain dominance over their stakeholders in the fair trade field.

Keywords: Fair trade; Bourdieu's notion of Symbolic power; Social inequality; Social impact disclosures; Stakeholders; Rhetoric (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:crpeac:v:79:y:2021:i:c:s1045235420300319

DOI: 10.1016/j.cpa.2020.102182

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