Abstract

This article investigates the rise of social enterprises as the post-recessionary growth avenue for corporate capitalism through the example of TOMS. Through readings of the TOMS website and Blake Mycoskie’s memoir of starting the company, I highlight the endurance of corporatist mechanisms, in spite of TOMS’s rhetorical insistence on the novelty of its business model. Social enterprises are inscribed in the larger phenomenon of conspicuous giving, which makes visible acts of donating, fundraising, and volunteering for a specific cause. Conspicuous giving, in other words, refers to any charitable act performed in the public sphere to which a certain amount of public recognition is attached. Arguably at stake in the rise of social entrepreneurship is the naturalization of free labor as a condition of global citizenship.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1456
Print ISSN
0162-4962
Pages
pp. 168-190
Launched on MUSE
2014-11-04
Open Access
No
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