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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Power of Advocacy in Bridging the Ideological Divide: The Campaign for Human Rights and Corporate Responsibility in the Cocoa Industry 2001-2014
by DeLuca-Acconi, Robin Ann, Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook, 2015, 300; 10003928
Abstract (Summary)

A cornerstone of social work’s mission is to advocate for practices that create social justice. This study encourages social workers to broaden their advocacy efforts into the global arena and educate them about Transnational Advocacy Networks (TANs) that are fighting for equitable globalization policies. This longitudinal case study (2001-2014) explores the public debate surrounding human rights abuses in the cocoa industry. Qualitative framing analysis is employed to explore the stakeholders’ discourse surrounding both the causes of and solutions to the Worst Forms of Child Labor (WFCL). This study analyzes press releases from human rights activists, the cocoa industry, and the media in order to recount the debate’s history. Throughout the campaign, the TANs and cocoa companies conflicted over how to improve the Harkin-Engel Protocol and other policies designed to eradicate the WFCL. This study chronicles the TANs’ strategies and rhetoric used throughout the campaign against the WFCL. Findings include that intense early movement agitation, the practice of “naming and shaming,” mobilizing stockholder activists and strong resonant frames led to positive changes in the cocoa industry. This study recounts the cocoa industry’s reaction from denial of the problem to eventual acceptance of human rights as a corporate norm. Stakeholders ultimately transcended the conflict caused by contrasting ideological differences and created corporate social responsibility policies. It is essential for varied stakeholders to come together and bridge ideological divides in an effort to solve complex societal issues. This study encourages social workers to advocate for change in prevailing inequitable globalization policies. Social workers can play a vital role in envisioning a just world, and through partnering with advocacy networks, be architects of that world’s creation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Blau, Joel, Morgan, Richard
Commitee: Barthel-Bouchier, Diane, Hayward, Anna
School: State University of New York at Stony Brook
Department: Social Welfare
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social work
Keywords: Adocacy, Child labor, Corporate social responsibility, Framing analysis, Human rights, Social justice
Publication Number: 10003928
ISBN: 978-1-339-42987-8
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