Xifra, J. & McKie, D. (2011). Desolidifying culture: Bauman, liquid theory, and race concerns in public relations. Journal of Public Relations Research, 23(4), 397-411.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/5935
This article examines approaches to race in public relations and seeks to reframe them through the work of Zygmunt Bauman. After a brief survey of recent race-concerned interventions in the literature, I contend that the mainstream field still tends to avoid anxieties around race in 3 main ways: by considering race from a functionalist business orientation rather than a social equity perspective; by embedding, or freezing, race in relatively static, quantitative, and unemotional conceptualizations of culture and ethnicity; and by acting as if race is no longer an issue in a multicultural, or postrace society. I find these approaches inadequate to the task of comprehending a swift-moving and unsettled present characterized by massive population movements. To improve the field's engagement with the cultural and demographic fluidity of contemporary conditions, especially in relation to race, I open up possibilities for public relations by drawing from Bauman's concept of liquid society and his methodological creativity.
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