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‘Freedom Through Marketing’ Is Not Doublespeak

Shabbir, Haseeb; Hyman, Michael; Dean, Dianne; Dahl, Stephan


Haseeb Shabbir

Michael Hyman

Dianne Dean

Stephan Dahl


The articles comprising this thematic symposium suggest options for exploring the nexus between freedom and unfreedom, as exemplified by the British abolitionists’ anti-slavery campaign and the paradox of freedom. Each article has implications for how these abolitionists achieved their goals, social activists’ efforts to secure reparations for slave ancestors, and modern slavery (e.g., human trafficking). We present the abolitionists’ undertaking as a marketing campaign, highlighting the role of instilling moral agency and indignation through re-humanizing the dehumanized. Despite this campaign’s eventual success, its post-emancipation phase illustrates a paradox of freedom. After introducing mystification as an explanation for the obscuring rhetoric used to conceal post-emancipation violations of freedom during the West’s colonial phase, we briefly discuss the appropriateness of reparations. Finally, we discuss the contributions made by the articles in this thematic symposium.


Shabbir, H., Hyman, M., Dean, D., & Dahl, S. (2020). ‘Freedom Through Marketing’ Is Not Doublespeak. Journal of Business Ethics, 164(2), 227-241.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 27, 2019
Online Publication Date Sep 10, 2019
Publication Date Jun 1, 2020
Deposit Date Jan 23, 2020
Publicly Available Date Sep 11, 2020
Journal Journal of Business Ethics
Print ISSN 0167-4544
Electronic ISSN 1573-0697
Publisher Springer (part of Springer Nature)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 164
Issue 2
Pages 227-241
Keywords Paradox of freedom; Anti-slavery campaigns; Abolition; Transatlantic slave trade; Reparations; Mystification; Ethical blindness; Human trafficking
Public URL
Related Public URLs
Contract Date Jan 23, 2020


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Copyright Statement
© 2019 by Haseeb Shabbir, Michael R. Hyman, Dianne Dean, and Stephan Dahl

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