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Resignification of the environmental crisis by the business media: corporate responsibility and redemption through consumption

This article examines how the environmentally responsible consumer has been 'produced' by the business media, based on an analysis of two magazines in the period of 1996-2007: Britain's The Economist and Brazil's Exame. The research method is based on the Discourse Theory founded by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe and on Lacanian authors who adopted this theory. An empirical analysis, underpinned by a bibliographic review of the relationships between environmental crisis, consumption and social corporate responsibility, allows us to conclude that the media's construction of the responsible consumer exploits the notion of culpability in the discourse of the environmental crisis to peddle redemption as a commodity.

responsible consumption; social corporate responsibility; environmental crisis; guilt; redemption

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