Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Ethical Responsibility to Distant Others through the Coffee Industry

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Version 2 2023-09-22, 02:14
Version 1 2021-11-15, 13:58
posted on 2021-11-15, 13:58 authored by Durbin, William

How we live our lives here in New Zealand affects others who are distant from us. We live in a world with many networks across space, which connect people with radically different lifestyles. These connections create an avenue to respond to the poverty of these ‘distant others’. One such network of connections is the coffee industry. Ethical consumption and social entrepreneurship within the coffee industry are a means to address development issues, and ultimately poverty. This research will look into coffee social enterprises, and how they can be included in a post-development theoretical framework. In particular, it will discuss the motivations of social entrepreneurs involved in the coffee companies interviewed.  Post-development provides a theoretical framework for this research of coffee social enterprises. It provides a critique to mainstream development, and has questioned how development is done, as well as its very validity. In doing so, it has encouraged new ways of ‘doing development’. One example of this is Sally Matthews’ three responses the wealthy can have to poverty: first, re-thinking of the development discourse in light of post-development; secondly, supporting popular initiatives; and thirdly, solidarity with distant others here at home.  This is an appreciative inquiry into different coffee companies, using qualitative ethnographic methods. Seven in-depth interviews have been conducted with managers, past owners or head roasters, as well as one with an expert on social enterprise.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Development Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Development Studies

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences


Murray, Warwick