Making Sense of Social Responsibility: The French Discourse

Ocler Rodolphe



This paper investigates the notion of corporate social responsibility. The focus is on analyzing, using different semantic tools, the perception that companies have of their social responsibility as well as the action plans that they initiate in this field. Based on four institutional communications produced by the companies, we establish various levels of reading thanks to narrative analysis and to metaphors, in particular of the fuzzy borders between the map and the territory or the undulation of the positioning of the writer. The reports on social responsibility were then identified like instruments of speech seeking to praise the actions of the companies, in the form of a type of communication which one could describe as propaganda. Beyond what is said, the article aims at identifying the sense given by the corporate world to social responsibility. 

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