2nd Edition

Public Relations and Social Theory Key Figures, Concepts and Developments

Edited By Øyvind Ihlen, Magnus Fredriksson Copyright 2019
    466 Pages
    by Routledge

    466 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Public Relations and Social Theory: Key Figures, Concepts and Developments broadens the theoretical scope of public relations studies by applying the work of a group of prominent social theorists to make sense of the practice. The volume focuses on the work of key social theorists, including Max Weber, Karl Marx, John Dewey, Jürgen Habermas, Niklas Luhmann, Michel Foucault, Ulrich Beck, Pierre Bourdieu, Anthony Giddens, Robert Putnam, Erving Goffman, Peter L. Berger, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Bruno Latour, Dorothy Smith, Zygmunt Bauman, Harrison White, John W. Meyer, Luc Boltanski and Chantal Mouffe. Each chapter is devoted to an individual theorist, providing an overview of that theorist’s key concepts and contributions, and exploring how these can be applied to public relations as a practice. Each chapter also includes a box giving a short and concise presentation of the theorist, along with recommendation of key works and secondary literature.


    List of Figures and Tables


    1. Introduction: Public Relations and Social Theory; Magnus Fredriksson & Øyvind Ihlen


    2. On Weber: Legitimacy and Legitimation in Public Relations; Arild Wæraas

    3. On Luhmann: Reframing Public Relations as Part of Society’s Evolutionary Learning Processes; Susanne Holmstrøm

    4. On Bauman: Power, Ethics and Social Hermeneutics; Magda Piezcka

    5. On Beck: Public Relations and Quests for Responsibility; Magnus Fredriksson

    6. On Latour: Actor-Networks, Modes of Existence and Public Relations; Piet Verhoeven


    7. On Bourdieu: Public Relations, Positions and Resources; Øyvind Ihlen

    8. On Harrison White: Rethinking Relations in Public Relations; Peter Winkler & Stefan Wehmeier

    9. On Meyer: Public Relations in a Context of World Society, Soft Actors and Rationalized De-coupling; Josef Pallas & Emilia Kvarnström

    10. On Giddens: Interpreting Public Relations through Anthony Giddens’s

    Structuration and Late Modernity Theories; Jesper Falkheimer


    11. On Putnam: Bowling Together – Applying Robert Putnam’s Theories of Community and Social Capital to Public Relations; Vilma Luoma-aho

    12. On Berger: If Peter Berger were doing Public Relations – A Social Constructionist Perspective on Crisis Communication; Mats Heide

    13. On Boltanski: The Sociology of Critique and Public Relations; Lee Edwards

    14. On Goffman: Researching Relations with Erving Goffman as Pathfinder; Catrin Johansson

    15. On Habermas: Communication and Understanding – Key Concepts for Public Relations; Roland Burkart


    16. On Marx: Capitalism and Public Relations; Kay Weaver

    17. On Dewey: Public Relations and its Eclipse of the Public; Lana Rakow

    18. On Foucault: Engaging with Foucault’s Critical Theory and Methods; Judy Motion & Shirley Leitch

    19. On Dorothy Smith: Public Relations and Feminist Theory at the Crossroads; Lana Rakow & Diana Iulia Nastasia

    20. On Spivak: Theorizing Resistance in Public Relations; Mohan Jyoti Dutta

    21. On Mouffe: Radical Pluralism and Public Relations; Scott Davidson & Judy Motion

    22. Conclusions on the Compass, Context, Concepts, Concerns and Empirical Avenues for Public Relations; Øyvind Ihlen, Piet Verhoeven & Magnus Fredriksson


    Author Bios


    Øyvind Ihlen is professor at the Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo and co-director of POLKOM – Centre for the Study of Political Communication. He has over 100 publications, including the award-winning edited Handbook of Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility (2011, with Jennifer Bartlett and Steve May) and Handbook of Organizational Rhetoric (2018, with Robert L. Heath). Ihlen is past president of the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA).

    Magnus Fredriksson is associate professor in the Department of Journalism, Media and Communication at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. His research focuses on strategic communication in general and strategic communication in public sector organizations in particular. His work has been published in European Journal of Communication, International Journal of Strategic Communication, Organization Studies, Public Administration, Public Relations Inquiry, Public Relations Review and elsewhere.