Historically, public relations research has been dominated by organisational interests, treating the profession as a function to help organisations achieve their goals, and focusing on practice and processes first and foremost. Such research is valuable in addressing how public relations can be used more effectively by organisations and institutions, but has tended to neglect the consequences of the practice on the social world in which those organisations operate.
This edited collection adds momentum to the emergent interest in the relationship between public relations, society and culture by bringing together a wide range of alternative theoretical and methodological approaches, including anthropology, storytelling, pragmatism and Latin American studies. The chapters draw on insights from a variety of disciplines including sociology, cultural studies, post-colonialism, political economy, ecological studies, feminism and critical race theory. Empirical contributions illustrate theoretical arguments with narratives and interview extracts from practitioners, resulting in an engaging text that will provide inspiration for scholars and students to explore public relations in new ways.
Public Relations, Society and Culture makes an essential contribution to a range of scholarly fields and illustrates the relevance of public relations to matters beyond its organisational function. It will be highly useful to students and scholars of public relations as well as cultural studies, ethnicity/‘race’ communication, media studies, development communication, anthropology, and organisational communication. This insightful book will make a significant contribution to debates about the purpose and practice of public relations in the new century.
Table of Contents
Contributors Acknowledgements Introduction: Implications of a (radical) socio-cultural ‘turn’ in public relations scholarship Lee Edwards, Manchester Business School (University of Manchester) and Caroline E. M. Hodges, Bournemouth University Chapter 1. Imagining public relations anthropology Jacquie L'Etang, Stirling Media Institute Chapter 2. Public relations in the postmodern city: An ethnographic account of PR occupational culture in Mexico City Caroline E. M. Hodges, Bournemouth University Chapter 3. Public relations and storytelling Paul Elmer, University of Central Lancashire Chapter 4. Public relations and society: A Bourdieuvian perspective Lee Edwards, Manchester Business School (University of Manchester) Chapter 5. Diversity in public relations Lee Edwards, Manchester Business School (University of Manchester) Chapter 6. Communication for social transformation Caroline E. M. Hodges, Bournemouth University and Nilam McGrath, Leeds University Business School Chapter 7. Pragmatism, semiotics and sacred truth Steve Mackey, Deakin University Chapter 8. Bubble Wrap – Social Media, Public Relations, Culture and Society Kristin Demetrious, Deakin University
Lee Edwards is lecturer in Corporate Communications and PR at Manchester Business School based at the University of Manchester, UK. Her main research interests revolve around sociological understandings of PR and include the operation of power in and through PR, 'race' and PR, PR as a cultural intermediary, and PR in the context of globalization. She is a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Public Relations Research, and has contributed to a number of books including The SAGE Handbook of Public Relations (2010) and Public Relations in Global Cultural Contexts (2010).
Caroline E. M. Hodges is a member of the Institute for Media and Communication Research based at Bournemouth Media School. She regularly teaches on undergraduate and postgraduate units concerned with the relationship between communication and culture. Caroline's research interests include the application of ethnography within communication research, Latin American communication theory, transnational and multicultural public relations and communication for social change.