Public Relations As Activism: Postmodern Approaches to Theory & Practice (Hardback) book cover

Public Relations As Activism

Postmodern Approaches to Theory & Practice

By Derina R. Holtzhausen

© 2012 – Routledge

272 pages

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This volume applies postmodern theory to public relations, providing an alternative lens to public relations theory and practice and developing public relations theory within the context of postmodernism. Author Derina R. Holtzhausen focuses on two key issues and their application to public relations theory and practice: the postmodernization of society, and the possibilities postmodern theories offer to explain and understand public relations practice in today’s changing society. Holtzhausen's argument is that existing theory should be evaluated from a postmodern perspective to determine its applicability to postmodernity. Utilizing practitioner perspectives throughout the volume, she explores the practice of public relations as a form of activism.

The volume is intended for scholars and students in public relations. It may be used as a supplemental text in advanced courses on public relations theory, PR management, organizational communication, and related areas.


"[Holtzhausen's] new book, Public Relations As Activism: Postmodern Approaches to Theory & Practice, serves to both encapsulate current thinking and moves the conversation forward, in particular by looking at the use of public relations through the years as a means of activism. With a clear and accessible approach, she discusses the application of postmodern theories and perspectives in the context of some bracingly diverse topics, ranging from ethics, history and organisations to power, knowledge and research." - Communication Director

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Postmodernity, Postmodernism, and Public Relations

Chapter 2 Postmodern Ethics as a Foundation for Public Relations Activism

Chapter 3 A Postmodern View of Public Relations History

Chapter 4 Power and the Public Relations Function

Chapter 5 Public Relations and the Postmodern Turn in Organization Theory

Chapter 6 Public Relations Knowledge and Research in Postmodernity

Chapter 7 Activism as the Postmodern Agency of Public Relations

About the Author

Derina R. Holtzhausen is professor and director of the School of Media and Strategic Communications at Oklahoma State University. Her published work has appeared in Journal of Public Relations Research, Journal of Communication Management, Communicatio, Journal for Global Competitiveness, and Women in Language, among others. She is a founding editor of the International Journal of Strategic Communication.

About the Series

Routledge Communication Series

The Routledge Communication Series covers the breadth of the communication discipline, from interpersonal communication to public relations, offering textbooks, handbooks, and scholarly reference materials.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies