Aldoory and Toth present a socio-ecological model for understanding and building a feminist future public relations. This approach acknowledges previous gaps in scholarship and practice caused by ideological, societal, mediated, and organizational factors constructing norms and expectations for gender and race.
Linda Aldoory is professor of communication and associate dean for research in the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland. She is also affiliate faculty member of the Department of Women’s Studies and has been doing research on gender and feminism in public relations for over 20 years.
Elizabeth Toth is professor of communication at the University of Maryland and former chair of the department. She is also an affiliate faculty member of the Department of Women’s Studies.
Section 1: Overview of the Book: Model and Definitions
Chapter 1: A Socio-Ecological Model for Public Relations and Strategic Communication
Chapter 2: The Backstory: Conceptualization and History of Public Relations and Feminism
Section 2: Ideological Level: Social Norms, Hegemony, and Media
Chapter 3: Ideological Level: The Overarching Power of Hegemony and Social Norms
Chapter 4: Media Level: Symbiotic yet Contested Terrain
Section 3: Organizational Level: Issues and Theories
Chapter 5: Organizational Level: Their Role in Maintaining the Status Quo
Chapter 6: Organizational Level: Facilitating Inequity and Marginalization
Section 4: Professional Level: Discursive Legitimacy and Professional Associations
Chapter 7: The Professional Level: Questions of Legitimacy and Value
Chapter 8: Professional Level: Interrogating Difference in Professional Associations
Section 5: Practitioner Level: Lived Experience and Identity
Chapter 9: The Practitioner Level: The Lived Experiences of Same and Difference
Chapter 10: Practitioner Level: Theory-Driven Approaches to Understanding Identity
Section 6: Dialogue and Future Directions
Chapter 11: Dialogue with Scholars and Practitioners: Co-constructing Meaning of the Model
Chapter 12: Putting the Socio-Ecological Model to Use
Aldoory and Toth collaborate to produce a comprehensive review of public relations literature using a socio-ecological model and a feminist lens. Building on 40 years of feminist research, they begin by defining terms and articulating assumptions. Then, using the framework of the socio-ecological model levels—ideological, media, organizational, professional, and practitioner—they offer a feminist critique of public relations, organize a large body of knowledge, and co-construct a model for future research. The well-organized book flows with precision through each level of the socio-ecological model and works toward closing the gaps and increasing understanding of feminism in public relations and strategic communication. The writing is clear but assumes a background in feminism and public relations, making the book more appropriate for scholars and practitioners than for undergraduates. Recommended. Graduate students, faculty, and practitioners.
Two of the field’s top feminist scholars have provided us with an ambitious and comprehensive assessment of gender in public relations. The volume provides a starting point for those new to the topic and a jumping off point for those eager to press forward
This book moves away from traditional liberal feminist inquiry into the pay gap and the glass ceiling and introduces a socio-ecological framework into PR scholarship. Drawing from sociology, cultural studies and environmental science, as well as international scholarship, the authors create a compelling case for studying women in PR and provide a thoughtful and reflective account of decades of scholarship and activism for equality of women in the PR industry.
Aldoory and Toth build on 40 years of feminist research in public relations in this landmark book. Incorporating international and critical feminist perspectives shifts the focus from the liberal feminism of earlier scholarship and calls attention to contemporary concerns such as race, class, gender and sexuality. Highly recommended for all scholars interested in feminism and social justice.
This book is an indispensable read, not only for all those who venture to look forward in strategic communication but also for those who venture to think about the future of companies and other organizations.
Aldoory and Toth took on the challenge to review and organize an entire body of literature in one book, and started a conversation on where the field should go next. What makes this a compelling book is that it inspires with facts and information, and it shows the reader where we are in the field and how far we still have to go to create a body of knowledge that accounts for the experiences of people from varied backgrounds.