Student Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program of Study

Communication - Corporate Communication



First Advisor

Minna Logemann

Second Advisor

Caryn Medved


The purpose of this thesis is to determine if there is a perceived difference among consumers between brand activism and corporate social responsibility. Taking a stand in social and political causes has become an unspoken requirement for major brands. Consumers are selective about purchasing from brands that do not adhere to ethical practices. Consumers are also demanding increased brand transparency about the philanthropical causes brands support. I want to determine how aware consumers are of acts of corporate social responsibility and brand activism, and if consumers are able to identify a fundamental difference between behaviors associated with the two terms. I posed one research question and used three interview prompts to collect oral histories from six anonymous individuals about their exposure to and opinions on brand activism and corporate social responsibility. The data analysis in this paper is qualitative. The purpose of this qualitative design is so that the interviewees' responses are natural and unstructured, creating a broad, unstructured conversation around these two concepts. My research found that of these six anonymous participants, four were able to distinguish a difference in practice between brand activism and corporate social responsibility.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.