The Politics of Corporate Rebranding

In case you missed it on CNN or in The New York Times, on September 25, 2018, Dunkin’ Donuts, the quick service restaurant chain of 9,000 outlets that has been in operation since 1950 when its first branch was opened in Quincy, Massachusetts, changed its name to “Dunkin.” This came just one day after Weight Watchers, the global giant in weight loss support services and products founded in 1963 by Jean Nidetch, a housewife from Queens, New York, changed its name to “WW.” That two giant U.S.-based food-related corporate entities with more than 125 years of successful sales of goods and services between them announced name changes within one 24-hour period is remarkable.

Sharing, Wasting, and Tasting in Our Mother Tongue

When I began my fieldwork on sanitation work in Bangalore, India, the city had already suffered two decades of class polarization and environmental degradation, after being marked as a site for low-cost solutions, back-end support, and offshore expansion. So, I should have suspected that the paradoxes of progress would leave me tongue-tied: lost in my mother tongue (Kannada), along with everyone else’s.