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Coffee by women: the 'duty of ethical enjoyment'
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0172-2609
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
2018 (English)In: Cultural Studies, ISSN 0950-2386, E-ISSN 1466-4348, Vol. 33, no 5, p. 866-887Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores the contemporary trend of deploying feminist values in the case of ethical branding. Using the psychoanalytical concepts logics of fantasy and enjoyment, we analyse the campaign by Swedish coffee brand Zoégas, Coffee by Women, to understand how a combination of development discourse, ‘women’s empowerment’ and the opportunity to ‘do good’ is employed to sell coffee. The analysis shows that the campaign depicts the threat of a future lack of coffee, creating anxiety in the consumer, supposedly motivating her to purchase Zoégas, as Coffee by Women is claimed to secure and educate new generations of coffee farmers. Simultaneously, this is presented as ‘empowering women’ in the global South. We argue that this narrative builds on a colonial fantasy of global sisterhood and shared interests that works to conceal the political conflicts connected to global trade and climate change. Through a commodification of feminist values and aesthetics, this fantasy works to redirect the desire for social change towards consumption, offering an enjoyable solution that disregards any wider responsibility. It has been argued that the structure of the social bond before the era of mass consumption was characterized by a prohibition on individual enjoyment for the benefit of the common good. After the arrival of mass consumption, the social bond instead became marked by a duty to enjoy. In the contemporary context of ethical capitalism, we suggest that the social bond is rather structured by a ‘duty of ethical enjoyment’, containing elements of both prohibition and pleasure.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2018. Vol. 33, no 5, p. 866-887
Keywords [en]
Feminism, ethical consumption, women’s empowerment, advertising, fantasy, duty of ethical enjoyment
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
gender studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-152540DOI: 10.1080/09502386.2018.1510532ISI: 000478091200007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-152540DiVA, id: diva2:1254897
Available from: 2018-10-10 Created: 2018-10-10 Last updated: 2019-09-10Bibliographically approved

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Lauri, JohannaBäckström, Hanna

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