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|Title:||Philanthropy and Social Justice: Examining the Social Impact of Grant-making by Philanthropic Institutions in Australia|
|School/Discipline:||School of Social Sciences : Sociology, Criminology & Gender Studies|
|Abstract:||This study explores the sociological significance of philanthropy by focusing on the power and influence of Australian philanthropic foundations in their interactions with non-profit organisations in the social sector. In particular, it examines philanthropy’s propensity or resistance to embracing the principles of social justice for the disadvantaged communities it ostensibly helps. By critically analysing the discourse of philanthropy, this thesis aims to examine if and how philanthropic grant-making strategies contribute to the preservation of elite hegemony. Data was obtained from interviews conducted from April 2016 to September 2016 with 16 senior managers of philanthropic foundations and non-profit organisations from three Australian states. Additional data was derived from publicly accessible annual reports available on the Internet. This study adopts a theoretical perspective based on a wider and more nuanced understanding of Antonio Gramsci’s (1891-1937) writings by specifically drawing on his notions of hegemony, crises, common sense, alliances, and subalterns. In one sense, this study builds on critical studies in American philanthropy from the 1980s that construct large philanthropic foundations as dominant instruments of cultural hegemony. In another sense, by focusing on philanthropy’s role in contributing to social change, this study challenges the view that elite philanthropic hegemony manifests only as domination. Indeed, philanthropic foundations embody elite hegemony by dint of their access to and control over substantial monetary resources destined for community benefit. Yet, a wider engagement with Gramsci’s writings elucidates the dual manifestations of hegemony, that is, as domination, and moral and intellectual leadership. At the heart of this thesis is the fact that contemporary philanthropy is a product of capitalism, and most activities that philanthropy is involved in entail efforts to strengthen capitalism as a way to maintain philanthropic hegemony. This is reflected in the types of social causes and projects selected for funding, and the terms of grant-disbursement to non-profit organisations that implement the said projects. Doubtless, Gramsci’s ideas are complex and somewhat counter-intuitive in an analysis of capitalist phenomena such as philanthropy. However, Gramsci plays a surprising role in the present study where the focus is on private money being used for projects that potentially contribute to social change for some marginalised communities. To this end, Gramsci’s insights explain how elite hegemony is maintained in three ways. First, philanthropy exercises hegemony in society through leadership rather than domination of the non-hegemonic groups they form alliances with. Second, the practice of grant-making for public benefit is a manifestation of philanthropic elites taking into account their own interests, and those of non-hegemonic groups. In doing so, philanthropic elites achieve and conserve their hegemony. Third, philanthropic elites maintain their hegemony by funding educational projects that aim to produce new knowledge, inculcate aspiration, and improve personal and organisational capacity. That is, philanthropy funds educational projects for the benefit of disadvantaged communities, and the general public which includes policy makers. Thus, an educational relationship initiated by philanthropic leadership constitutes a relationship of hegemony, and contributes to the production of a new common sense that Gramsci insists is necessary for social change.|
|Dissertation Note:||Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Social Sciences, 2020|
|Provenance:||This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/legals|
|Appears in Collections:||Research Theses|
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