ABSTRACT. Over the past few years private corporations have taken the responsibility to respect human rights as a salient dimension of their commitment to act responsibly. Their actions on that front, though, may occasionally come across as implausible, ill-intentioned or plainly inauthentic, even when they are well-meant, thereby triggering a reaction of repugnance on the part of their audiences. Such reaction appears to be shaped by a repertoire of civil purification dramas that unfold within many different institutional arenas, from cinema and fictional literature to media accounts and even to scientific and policy debates among experts. I will suggest that such dramas may offer a useful entry point to account for the aesthetic order that shapes our expectations about the relation between business and society. Furthermore, their analysis can generate a series of new questions that justify a new research agenda on the aesthetics of responsible business. pp. 186–205

Keywords: socio-aesthetics; business and human rights; corporate social responsibility; NGO accountability

How to cite: Tognato, Carlo (2015), “The Aesthetics of Responsible Business: Outline of a Research Agenda,” Knowledge Cultures 3(3): 186–205

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Department of Sociology and Center for Social Studies,
National University of Colombia, Bogotá;
Indo-Pacific Governance Research Centre,
University of Adelaide

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