JUST DOUGH IT! An Analysis of Nike and Ben & Jerry’s Use of Corporate Activism as It Pertains to the Black Lives Matter Movement



Wagner, Miriam

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On May 25th, 2020 George Floyd, an innocent Black man, was unjustly murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mass Black Lives Matter mobilizations occurred around the nation. Shortly after his death, corporations took to their own social media pages and posted statements condemning this incident and what they would be doing to help combat this injustice. Nike and Ben & Jerry's released statements that highly resonated with the public. This thesis looks at how corporations engage with activism and shape public discourse. I conducted an online qualitative content analysis looking at Nike and Ben & Jerry's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages and online news articles. This study revealed that corporate activism can be categorized into three categories: Conscientious Activism, which is when corporations boldly and shamelessly engage with activism, Performance Activism which is when corporations only engage with activism to appear proactive or socially just, and Reactive Activism, which happens when corporations engage with activism only after being pressured by other consumers, the state, or other corporations.



Corporate activism, Ben & Jerry's, Nike, Corporate social responsibility, Black Lives Matter movement