Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

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The Dialectics of Care: Communicating Ethical Trade in Poland

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Abstract:  This article is an empirical exploration of how ethical trade organisations draw on and appropriate in their communication the moral repertoire of ethical trade. Theoretically, it employs the notion of the “dialectics of care” to examine the tactics used in ethical trade communication to reconcile care for oneself and one’s close ones with care for distant producers. Empirically, this article is based on the discourse-theoretical analysis of two interviews with the representatives of Polish ethical trade organisations: (1) a fair trade firm, Pizca del Mundo, and (2) an NGO, the Institute for Global Responsibility. The analysis finds that ethical trade organisations seek to harmonise care for distant producers with the interests of the Polish public through (1) embedding it into the discourse of product quality, or (2) linking it to care for oneself, one’s family and society while raising awareness of the global interconnectedness.

Keywords:  care; discourse-theoretical analysis; ethical trade; fair trade; interviews; metageography; moral education; Poland



© Kinga Polynczuk-Alenius. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.