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I’m a PR person. Let’s just deal with it. Managing intersectionality in professional life

Edwards, Lee ORCID: 0000-0001-6542-1234 (2023) I’m a PR person. Let’s just deal with it. Managing intersectionality in professional life. Public Relations Review, 12 (1). 27 - 51. ISSN 0363-8111

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Identification Number: 10.1177/2046147X221089323


A key focus of intersectional research is to engage with the power dynamics resulting from the sameness/difference paradox that Crenshaw (1991) originally identified in Black women’s legal status. This article extends intersectional research in public relations by investigating how the tensions of responding to this paradox unfold in professional life. I combine Carastathis’ (2017) use of intersectionality as a provisional concept that can prompt different thinking about taken-for-granted realities, and Jorbá and Rodó-Zárate’s (2019) formulation of intersectional categories as fluid structural and agentic properties of a particular situation, to understand how sameness/difference is strategically negotiated by public relations practitioners of colour, the tensions that arise during these negotiations, and the impact of such negotiations on their own professional standing, as well as on the unmarked, normative white, male and middle-class identities that characterize the ‘post-race’ professional spaces in which they work. I conclude that, without genuine recognition of the daily compromises and sacrifices that practitioners of colour have to make in order to foster perceptions of ‘sameness’ and keep ‘difference’ at bay, the professional field’s blindness to its white, male and middle-class archetypes will persist – and will continue to blight the careers of those for whom the comfort of belonging remains elusive.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2022 10:00
Last Modified: 26 May 2024 05:54

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