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Public Relations, Values and Cultural Identity

Edited By Enric Ordeix, Valérie Carayol and Ralph Tench

As organisations seek legitimacy in a fast-moving, interconnected and changing world, how do public relations help them to manage their identity, responsibilities and impact on society? In a more interactive society, organisations need to align their actions with social demands and values. If the main role of public relations is to build trust and influence opinionmakers, media, the public and the political agenda, what are the constraints and limitations at play here, and what is the impact on ethical principles?
The published research shows the profession is facing crucial changes: the existence of new organisational structures better aligned with social demands; the emergence of new techniques for interacting with organisations in a more trustworthy manner; and growing pressure by social groups acting both for and against particular social values, ideas and identities.
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Empowered Spaces: The Political and Everyday Life


Empowered Spaces

The Political and Everyday Life


Örebro University, Sweden

With the aim to study Nicaraguan women’s civic engagement an ethnographic approach seemed given. But the choice to apply a critical ethnographic approach is more of a commitment – there is a purpose with the study that goes beyond answering the research questions. The aim to critically assess participation and communicative practices is based on a critical analysis and a wish to take the critical argument further.

Ethnography as such is multimodal and offers a range of methods and the possibility to combine these for the best purpose of the study (Höijer, 1990). Empirically, the study draws on ethnographically collected material during field work in Nicaragua, Central America between 2008 and 2010, such as individual and focus group interviews, participant observations from a variety of situations in the informants’ ‘ordinary life’, and audio-visual material from organized events (workshops, radio studio recordings, demonstrations etc.). In this article the quotes mainly derive from focus group interviews and informal conversations with young women during an educational workshop about citizenship and gender that was held by the Nicaraguan NGO Grupo Venancia1 in Matagalpa, Nicaragua in March 2011. My particular interest is to discuss how the informants define, talk and act out their civic engagement, what civic participation and identity means to them and how they actually take part in different actions. There is a strong correlation between methodology and critique, and critical...

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