1 Department of Language and Business Communication, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Knowledge Communication, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 Department of Business Communication, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University4 Department of Business Communication, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
Approaching Corporate Social Responsibility through Kenneth Burke's Notions of Terministic Screens and Entitlement Kenneth Burke brings together the function of rhetoric as both a constitutive and interpretive process through his notions of terministic screens and entitlement. Terministic screens allow for user agency, whereas entitlement appears to be focused more at the cultural level, with the agency shared by the 'tribe,' the language itself, and the context of situation.1 In other words, "terministic screens" appear to be extrinsic, while "entitlement" appears to be intrinsic. Carmichael summarizes Burke's essay, "Antinomies of Definition," from a Grammar of Motives as demonstrating that 'the intrinsic and the extrinsic can change places' "such that to define is always to contextualize and to uncover the absence of a solid ground for a claim to knowledge."2 So if the intrinsic and extrinsic can change places, the interpretive process of "terministic screens" and the constitutive process of "entitlement" may well be reciprocal. The implications of this reciprocity can be used as a basis for understanding the linguistic and cultural components of Corporate Social Responsibility as portrayed in corporate web presences around the world. This paper will use Burke's concepts of entitlement and terministic screens to compare and contrast the manner in which Corporate Social Responsibility is constituted and interpreted from culture to culture as it grows into a global movement. The initial focus will be a comparative analysis of Corporate Social Responsibility as portrayed in Denmark, the U.S., and Japan.  Burke, Kenneth. (1966) Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. p. 359. 2 Carmichael, Thomas.(2001). "Screening Symbolicity." in Henderson & Williams, eds. Unending Conversations: New Writings by and about Kenneth Burke. Southern Illinois University Press: Carbondale. p.146.