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A STRATEGY OF POWER RELATIONS FOR RACIALLY DIVERSE PUBLIC RELATIONS PRACTITIONERS
Restricted (Penn State Only)
Flores, Juan Carlos
Master of Arts
Date of Defense:
March 23, 2017
Denise Bortree, Thesis Advisor
Michel Haigh, Committee Member
Matt McAlister, Committee Member
organizational power dynamics
The public relations industry, an industry comprised of mostly Caucasian practitioners, is suffering from a clear lack of racial and ethnic diversification. Many racially diverse practitioners have a hard time being recruited and flourishing at their positions within an organization, let alone entering top management. This issue is indicative of PR’s reputation of being a lily-white profession and can be attributed to the power dynamics within an organization. Using a theoretical framework of power relations, this study explored whether power can be used by racially diverse practitioners in the minority group through the strategic formation of power relations given their agency’s power dynamics. The 21 interviews suggest power relations are employed by diverse practitioners and are heavily based on dissimilarities. Interviewees claim power relations prove to be beneficial in advancing their careers and helping them avoid instances of pigeonholing, micro inequalities, tokenism and termination.
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