Critical theory has a long history, but a relatively recent intersection with public relations. This ground-breaking collection engages with commonalities and differences in the traditions, whilst encouraging plural perspectives in the contemporary public relations field.
Compiled by a high-profile and widely respected team of academics and bringing together other key scholars from this field and beyond, this unique international collection marks a major stage in the evolution of critical public relations. It will increasingly influence how critical theory informs public relations and communication.
The collection takes stock of the emergence of critical public relations alongside diverse theoretical traditions, critiques and actions, methodologies and future implications. This makes it an essential reference for public relations researchers, educators and students around a world that is becoming more critical in the face of growing inequality and environmental challenges. The volume is also of interest to scholars in advertising, branding, communication, consumer studies, cultural studies, marketing, media studies, political communication and sociology.
Table of Contents
Part I: Origins and Overviews 1. History as a Source of Critique: Historicity and knowledge, societal change, activism and rhetorical movements (Jacquie L’Etang) 2. An Historical Overview of the Emergence of Critical Thinking in PR (Lee Edwards) 3. Articulating Public Relations Practice and Critical/Cultural Theory Through a Cultural-Economic Lens (Patricia A. Curtin, T. Kenn Gaither, and Erica Ciszek) 4. Feminism and PR (Kate Fitch) 5. The Public Sphere and PR (Phil Ramsey) 6. Dialogue and Critical Public Relations (Magda Pieczka) 7. Critical Rhetoric and Public Relations (Øyvind Ihlen) 8. Sanitising or Reforming PR? Exploring the emergence of critical public relations (Kristin Demetrious) Part II: Orientations and Re-Orientations 9. Extending PR’s Critical Conversations with Advertising and Marketing (Clea Bourne) 10. Public Relations, the Postcolonial Other and the Issue of Asylum Seekers (Jane Johnstone) 11. Critical Discourse Analysis: A search for meaning and power (Judy Motion and Shirley Leitch) 12. Changes to be Encouraged: Radical turns in PR theorisation and small-step evolutions in PR practice (Kevin Moloney and David McKie) 13. A Reflexive Perspective in Public Relations: On leaving traditional thinking and uncovering the taken-for-granted (Jesper Falkheimer and Mats Heide) 14. Double Deconstruction: Transparency, dialogue, and social media from a critical post-structuralist perspective (Oliver Raaz and Stefan Wehmeier) 15. "Critical Public Relations is so Critical!" Objections, counter-objections, and practical applications to critical-cultural public relations work (Jennifer Vardeman-Winter) 16. What is Critical About Critical Public Relations Theory? (Bob Heath and Jordi Xifra) Part III: Perspectives from Different Locations 17. A Post-Socialist/Communist Perspective: From foreign-imposed to home-grown transitional public relations (Ryszard Ławniczak) 18. Public Relations and Humanitarian Communication: From persuasion to the creation of a community of equals (Jairo Lugo-Ocando and Manuel Hernández-Toro) 19. Science, Medicine and the Body: How public relations blurs lines across individual and public health (Katie Place and Jennifer Vardeman-Winter) 20. A Postcolonial Critique of Public Relations (Mohan Dutta) 21. Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Critical public relations as a cure for media studies’ fear of the dark (C. K. Weaver) 22. The Need for Critical Thinking in Country Promotion: Public diplomacy, nation branding and public relations (Alina Dolea) 23. Critical Race and Public Relations: The case of environmental racism and risk bearer agency (Damion Waymer and Bob Heath) 24. Critical Management Studies and the Management of Desire (Stephen Linstead) Part IV: Ways Forward 25. Deconstructing Japan’s PR: Where is the Public? (Nancy Snow) 26. Socially Integrating PR and Operationalizing an Alternative Approach (Jim Macnamara) 27. Expanding Critical Space: Public intellectuals, public relations, and an "outsider" contribution (David McKie and Jordi Xifra) 28. Algorithmic Public Relations: Materiality, technology and power in a post-hegemonic world (Simon Collister) 29. Liberation Public Relations (Mark Sheehan and Jordi Xifra) 30. Being Social: Creating a critical commons with public relations practice (Paul Willis) 31. Pushing Boundaries: A critical cosmopolitan orientation (Anne Surma) 32. Public Relations and Sustainable Citizenship: Towards a goal of representing the unrepresented (Debashish Munshi and Priya Kurian)
Jacquie L’Etang is Professor of Public Relations and Applied Communication at Queen Margaret University, UK.
David McKie is Professor of Management Communication at the University of Waikato, New Zealand.
Nancy Snow is Professor Emeritus of Communications at California State University, Fullerton, USA.
Jordi Xifra is Professor of Public Relations at Pompeu Fabra University, Spain.
'It's hard to imagine a single book on PR with so many subjects and perspectives. Only the most purblind observer can ignore its power in the modern age. Public relations is in everyone's life, and is everyone's business. This book makes PR's 'invisible government' visible and potent, and proclaims the discipline’s intellectual liberation.' - Simon Moore, Associate Professor, Bentley University, USA
'This collection of perspectives is nothing less than transformative. I know of no scholarly book that has equaled this book’s potential to rebrand public relations in the eyes of the world. The editors and the cadre of first-rate scholars have produced a landmark collection. It is a grand achievement that, at once, has the depth and imagination to not only reframe PR but to instruct and inspire its practitioners.' - Robert E. Brown, Professor, Communications and Public Relations, Salem State University, USA and author of The Public Relations of Everything
'Thomas Jefferson once stated "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism." For those who practice public relations, The Routledge Handbook of Critical Public Relations is a very patriotic book.' - Anthony R. Pratkanis, Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA