Discourse and Communication 9 (6):593-624 (2015)

Critical evaluations of the current movement of corporate social responsibility commodification have neglected an important question: How do CSR professionals manage the tensions resulting from the search for both profit and social responsibility? This article addresses this question by analyzing the discourse of CSR consultants with the aim of understanding how they deal with such tensions through identity work. Our findings suggest that people who claim, or who are ascribed, paradoxical professional identities may engage in ‘paradoxical identity mitigation’ – a process whereby the concomitant and paradoxical use of linguistic strategies is aimed at simultaneously embracing and distancing oneself from contradictory identity demands. In uncovering how CSR professionals discursively manage the tensions engendered by CSR commodification, our results also advance current knowledge of CSR by shedding light on the underlying processes whereby new ‘hybrid’ identities are constituted and mobilized by actors to make sense of their professional activities.
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DOI 10.1177/1750481315600308
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Semantics: Volume 1.John Lyons - 1977 - Cambridge University Press.
Semantics.John Lyons - 1979 - Linguistics and Philosophy 3 (2):289-295.

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