Gender and Public Relations
Critical Perspectives on Voice, Image and Identity
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Although there is a small body of feminist scholarship that problematizes gender in public relations, gender is a relatively undefined area of thinking in the field and there have been few serious studies of the socially constructed roles defining women and men in public relations.
This book is positioned within the critical public relations stream. Through the prism of ‘gender and public relations’, it examines not only the manipulatory, but also the emancipatory, subversive and transformatory potential of public relations for the construction of meaning. Its focus is on the dynamic interrelationships arising from public relations activities in society and the gendered, lived experiences of people working in the occupation of public relations. There are many previously unexplored areas within and through public relations which the book examines. These include:
- the production of social meaning and power relations
- advocacy and activist campaigns for social and political change
- the negotiation of identity, diversity and cultural practice
- celebrity, bodies, fashion and harassment in the workplace
- notions of managing reputation and communicating policy.
In extending the field of inquiry, this edited collection highlights how gender is accomplished and transformed, and, thus how power is exercised and inequality (re)produced or challenged in public relations. The book will expand thinking about power relations and privilege for both women and men and how these are affected by the interplay of social, cultural and institutional practices.
Winner of the Outstanding Book PRide Award, awarded by the National Communication Association (NCA).
Table of Contents
Foreword (Lana F. Rakow) Introduction. Gender and Public Relations: Making Meaning, Challenging Assumptions (Christine Daymon and Kristin Demetrious) 1. Surface Effects: Public Relations and the Politics of Gender (Kristin Demetrious) 2. Caring about Public Relations and the Gendered Cultural Intermediary Role (Anne Surma and Christine Daymon) 3. Interrogating Inequalities Perpetuated in a Feminized Field: Using Critical Race Theory and the Intersectionality Lens to Render Visible that which should not be Disaggregated (Donnalyn Pompper) 4. Gendered Performance and Identity Work in PR Consulting Relationships: A UK Perspective (Liz Yeomans) 5. Mothers, Bodies and Breasts: Organizing Strategies and Tactics in Women's Activism (C. Kay Weaver) 6. Celebrity, Gender and Reputation Management at the BBC (Jane Arthurs) 7. Campaigning for 'Women, Peace and Security': Transnational Advocacy Networks at the United Nations Security Council (Ian Somerville and Sahla Aroussi) 8. Gender, Culture and Power: Competing Discourses on the Philippine Reproductive Health Bill (Marianne Sison) 9. 'I want to Voice out my Opinion': Bringing Migrant Women from beyond the Margins into Union Work (Maree Keating) 10. 'Mammography at Age 40-49 Saves Lives, Just not enough of Them': Gendered Political Intersections in Communicating Breast Cancer Screening Policy to Publics (Jennifer Vardeman-Winter, Hua Jiang and Natalie Tindall) 11. Ex-Journos and Promo Girls: Feminization and Professionalization in the Australian Public Relations Industry (Kate Fitch and Amanda Third)
Christine Daymon is Associate Professor of Communication Management at Murdoch University, Australia. She is co-author of the successful Routledge book Qualitative Research Methods in Public Relations and Marketing Communications, now in its second edition.
Kristin Demetrious is Associate Professor in Public Relations at Deakin University, Australia. Her first book is Public Relations, Activism and Social Change: Speaking Up (Routledge, 2013).
This enjoyable and varied volume represents yet another example of how public relations theory is steadfastly catching up with the development within social theory. This is a critical lens that is used focusing on the lived experience of the research participants. The volume goes well beyond liberal feminist approaches to challenge our thinking on gender issues. It is about time.
Øyvind Ihlen, University of Oslo, Norway
The editors and contributors open up new insights into the taken-for-granted approaches to gender and public relations that have guided feminist scholars in the field of public relations and that have eluded the attention of other scholars for at least the last 40 years.
Lana Rakow, University of North Dakota, USA