Making space for activism studies in public relations curricula.

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Date: Sept. 2021
From: Public Relations Review(Vol. 47, Issue 3)
Publisher: Elsevier Advanced Technology Publications
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 306 words

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Abstract :

Keywords Public relations; Curricula; Pedagogy; Activism; Activist; Functionalism Highlights * Aims to stimulate debate about public relations education and its curricula. * Questions why, when prominent public relations theorists are establishing a developing relationship between activism and public relations, is this research not reflected in public relations curricula? * Challenges the functionalist approach to the teaching of public relations. * Proposes that incorporating activism studies into public relations curricula provides the opportunity to deconstruct public relations practice and critique the role it plays in society. * Proposes that incorporating activism studies in public relations curricula provides a platform for public relations to consolidate its position as a progressive field of knowledge and practice. Abstract This article aims to stimulate debate about public relations education and its curricula. It questions why, when prominent public relations theorists are establishing a developing relationship between activism and public relations, is this research not reflected in public relations curricula? The functionalist approach (where public relations is taught as a neutral organisational function) is endorsed by public relations' powerful credentialising bodies, and strongly influences the content of public relations' educational objectives. Rather than allow this functionalism to dominate curricula objectives, public relations teachers, as professionals, have a responsibility to deconstruct public relations practice and critique the role it plays in society. This article proposes that incorporating activism studies into public relations curricula provides an opportunity for public relations teachers to navigate this complexity. In addition, incorporation of activism studies in public relations curricula has the potential to provide a platform for public relations to consolidate its position as a progressive field of knowledge and practice in a dynamic and complex environment. Author Affiliation: 55 Wellesley Street East, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand Article History: Received 29 March 2020; Revised 4 January 2021; Accepted 16 February 2021 Byline: Philippa (Pip) Mules [Pip.mules@aut.ac.nz]

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A662598803