Considering Context with Focus Questions

The next section of my thesis work will examine the situated context, or what environmental studies refers to as “the middle of the hourglass” (see below). This component of the thesis includes situated context, focus questions, methodology, analysis, and results.

This week I have begun to flesh out my situated context. The “place” I situated my research in is not physical, but in the imaginary of place- what spaces do Certified B Corporations hold and interact with in the liberal democratic capitalist imaginary- state, civil society, and market. Within this context the research will be situated in Portland, OR given my proximity to the city and the presence of a large B Corp community.

I have also been working on formulating my focus questions, or those which my research will more directly seek to answer.

Draft Focus Questions


How does the B Corp Certification provide businesses the opportunity to include more than profit into business objectives?


Why did the B Corp certification arise? Why do businesses become B Corp certified over other eco-certifications? How does B corp certification compare to the legal benefit corporation status? How does B Corp Certification interact with state, market, civil society, and people?


How is B Corp Certification succeeding and/or failing at creating a new economic system of businesses which creates benefit for all stakeholders? How, if at all, can businesses work for more than profit?


How can Certified B Corporations harness market, state, civil society, and consumer power to transform the global economy into one which considers more than profit?

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