Finding Focus: A New Approach to Frameworks, Topic Questions, and ANT Maps

This week we focused on fine tuning our framework questions and our Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) maps.

I began by paring down my major topics- As a recap, I last ended with these topics:

Neoliberalism

Globalization of supply chain

Corporation

Corporate Social Responsibility

Sustainability reporting (including how is it measured)

Voluntary standards, social and environmental voluntary certifications, third party auditing

Ethical consumerism

Green washing

Government- corporation- civil society

B Corp

Though my thesis will no doubt consider all of these topics, I wanted to select only a few topics to dive into for my literature review. After a bit of brainstorming, I realized I am most intrigued with the diminished role of the state in global environmental governance. For those environmental and social issues of globalized supply chains and consumer goods, it is civil society, individuals, and markets (corporations) which are responding most urgently. Within the current certification revolution, the state provides few resources or legitimization. Certified B Corp is an especially interesting certification, as it’s mission is to impose self regulation of businesses and lobby the state to provide legal recognition of benefit status (wherein shareholders are beholden to both profit and value).

Additionally, I thought this approach fit well with the system levels of analysis, individual and institutional. The relationship between these scales has always been of interest and I know I will incorporate this discussion in my thesis.

With these new approaches to my framework, I settled on the topics of:

Private Environmental Governance

Corporate SocialResponsibility

Ethical consumerism

and Certified B Corporation, acting as the point of intersection between the other three actors.

Following this I began to draft my Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) maps. The ANT map connects actors through processes, attempting to explore the web of theoretical relationships.

As I complete my annotated bibliography of these actors, I will no doubt find new connections and my framework will change.

2 thoughts on “Finding Focus: A New Approach to Frameworks, Topic Questions, and ANT Maps

  1. Nicole, it looks like this is shaping up really well! I would love to hear more explanation connecting your question(s) on the diminished role of the state in environmental governance to your ANT map…I think what I mean by that is your topic “Private Enviro Governance” is a new phrase to me and I am curious how that, and the related isms you associate, maybe address that question you pose. Look forward to hearing more!

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  2. It was great to see how you developed your concept map! I was interested in how you explained the diminished role of the state in environmental governance, and I look forward to hearing more about this. It seems that some governments are an opposing barrier in itself for communities to work past and I am so used to hearing about how corporations are backed by the government — would love to learn more about how corporations take responsibility for a positive environmental direction.

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