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Exploring the role of public relations as a cultural intermediary occupation

Edwards, Lee (2012) Exploring the role of public relations as a cultural intermediary occupation. Cultural Sociology, 6 (4). pp. 438-454. ISSN 1749-9755

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1749975512445428


This article sets out an argument for paying greater sociological attention to the public relations industry as an important mechanism through which society and culture are formed. It offers a theoretical and empirical exploration of public relations practice which begins to address this lacuna, using a Bourdieuian framework. After introducing the public relations industry and cultural intermediation, arguments are made for the centrality of discursive struggle in Bourdieu’s work, drawing on other theorists as necessary to make explicit the logic that puts language and discourse at the centre of the struggle for symbolic power. This clarifies the importance of public relations as an object of sociological analysis. Bourdieu’s conception of practice is then reflected on and applied to public relations, before the findings from an exploratory case study are considered. The article concludes by reviewing implications for future theoretical and empirical work in this area.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Sage
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Sets: Departments > Media and Communications
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2017 11:10
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 01:52

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