Everything but the Kitchen Sink

As fall semester of senior year wraps up in the next two weeks I attempt to thoughtfully organize my next steps over winter break and into Spring semester.

The Environmental Studies research approach

Following the Environmental Studies approach of a situated hourglass, I have spent the semester at the ‘top of the hourglass,’ writing background, framing question, situated context, and key actors and theories. I have also begun preliminary work in the ‘middle of the hourglass’ with a working methodology. I am currently in the process of connecting with members of the B Corp community to understand what questions need to be answered and how I can most productivity and supportively conduct my research. Along with quantitative data, my last post described the addition of some qualitative textual analysis from scholarly work or companies published CSR reports. Methodology will be finalized in the coming weeks as I begin to collect data over winter break.

This post considers the ‘bottom of the hourglass’ of comparison and generalizations that can be made from my framing question. I am equating improved certification scores as a sign of a material transformation of capitalism. I need to do more work about the generalizations of how I can compare B Corp Certification to other certifications, when B Corp is the only certification to address a business as a whole rather than a products.

The final section of my thesis will be next steps and further research. In this section I aim to further discuss what the findings of my work mean for the movement towards a transformed system. I am not sure the degree of broadness I will deploy, but I will examine my four main actors (VSC’s, multi-level environmental governance, CSR, and ethical consumerism) and determine where the room is to grow and become more effective methods of social justice.

Given that my personal and career interests align with this thesis, I may choose to continue working on these ideas beyond the due-date, and to continue my own engagement with the movement as I search for post-grad opportunities. Additionally, I am interested in presenting at the CAE Conference in June. Finally, I will provide directions of further research, I hope that these questions will not only recognize the shortcomings of my own thesis, but also provide me with direction in post-grad life.

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