Corporations are Not People: Dissensual Democracy and the Movement Against Corporate Rights Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Thimsen, Anna Freya
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication
  • This dissertation describes the way that the movement against corporate rights employs democratic ideals and media technologies to present itself as "the people" who have a more legitimate claim to sovereignty than corporations. The movement's use of rhetoric and technology demonstrate that democratic ideals do not necessarily represent actual democratic processes, but enacting them is still an effective way to produce a sense that a democratic event is occurring. Although different branches of the movement advocate different goals and use different rhetorical and technological strategies, they use similar techniques to demonstrate shared participation in the overall movement. These core shared techniques indicate that scholarship on democratic movements and their political issues has the opportunity to increase its effectiveness and relevance by integrating insights about how to produce dissensus based on studying movement techniques. Additionally, the history of the legal theoretical rhetoric of corporate rights relies on a sharp distinction between organic and technological collectives that shapes how the movement is able to selectively critique and enact democratic doxai.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Blair, Carole
  • Lundberg, Christian
  • McGowan, John
  • Grossberg, Lawrence
  • Pollock, Della
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2014
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • This item is restricted from public view for 2 years after publication.

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