Debating Corporate Culture and the Corporate Social Responsibility: A Case Study of Coca-Cola in India

Dr Ravi Raman
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The current phase of neoliberal globalization is distinguished by a focus on the notion of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which, while being a novel concept, has also given corporate culture a new shade of meaning, particularly with regard to business ethics, social and environmental sustainability, and human rights. However, much as the corporate world tries to project its regard for social responsibility, its attempts fail to convince its critics who remain firm in their belief in corporate irresponsibility. It remains to be seen how far corporate capital allows itself to be moulded by the principles of CSR, and to what extent these influences are likely to alter the nature of corporate decisions and practices. It must be pointed out that the discourse on CSR was one generated from below, when unethical practices in corporate activities as part of world-wide competition and world market penetration became rampant, and their economic and cultural implications spread far and wide. Questions and concerns were raised by situating corporations and their activities in multi-ethnic and multi-cultural environments in Latin America, South Africa and Asia. Though the paper has largely drawn its inputs from one particular case study of a coca-cola in Kerala, it also runs through the issues taken up by the many agencies, and the legal and scientific institutions regarding the functioning and governing of cola manufacturing in India.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, Coca-Cola, Kerala, India
Stream: Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Studies, Humanities
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr Ravi Raman

Hallsworth Research Fellow, Department of Social Anthropology, Manchester University
Manchester, UK

Inspired by post-structuralist/post-development studies, my more recent work centres around the multiple histories of power, material relations and the “regime(s) of truth” as related to the indigenous people and the other historically oppressed dalit and backward communities. It has been my attempt to interrogate state and corporate violence, as also the implications of the entry of multilateral financial agencies. I have now been concentrating on the innumerable forms of 'contra-discourse’ that the victims and the oppressed articulate, as part of their resistance

Disciplines: Poltical Economy, Social Anthropology, Social

Earlier worked at the Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum, Kerala and at the Kerala Agricultural University.

Ref: I07P1011