Public Relations in a Postmodern World
Chapter 1: Modernism and Public Relations
Modernism and Public Relations
What is postmodernism? How does it compare to modernism? What does public relations have to do with all of this? These are seemingly simple questions but with complex answers. This book does not attempt to fully answer the first two questions, but we will examine all three and put our efforts towards attempting to answer the third. Public relations as a profession and a practice has, without question, been shaped and continues to be shaped by changes in our culture and society. These changes include, but are not limited to, dynamic changes in technology and media, the public’s expectations with regard to organizational communication, and new realities concerning public relations tactics and strategies. Concurrently, changes in public relations practice are shaping larger societal and cultural forces. As such, I argue that our postmodern world both shapes, and is shaped by, new and different ways that organizations (and publics) “do” public relations.
Almost every discussion of postmodernism begins with a caveat. The caveat is that postmodernism cannot be defined (or at least easily defined). Instead of using that traditional opening, perhaps it is best to briefly examine the broad concept of modernism—the core set of ideas that postmodernism seeks to critique and, in some ways, replace.
Modernism, like postmodernism, is subject to wide-ranging interpretation and application. Perhaps Habermas (1983a) defined it most succinctly when he said that modernism aims to “develop objective science, universal morality and...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.