On Bauman: Power, ethics and social hermeneutics
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Pieczka, M. (2018) On Bauman: Power, ethics and social hermeneutics. In: Ihlen, Ø. & Fredriksson, M. (eds.) Public Relations and Social Theory: Key Figures, Concepts and Developments (2nd ed.) New York: Routledge.
With the concept of liquid modernity - Bauman offers an understanding of postmodern society as a continuation of modernity. His idea of adiaphorization could inspire the pursuit of a sociological explanation of the problem of ethics in public relations practice. Responding to Bauman in research terms directs us towards hermeneutic phenomenology as an approach to illuminate public relations practice by exploring tensions and structures within the experience of the individual consciousness of practitioners. A number of specific points are offered in relation to the potential of Bauman's work to contribute to research, pedagogy, and practice in public relations. These could be summarized under terms drawn from the sphere of Bauman's thought such as: nomadism, disobedience, social hermeneutics, a commitment to the emancipatory goals of knowledge together with a commitment to humanity as the foundation for action. The discussion concludes with the importance of approaching public relations phenomenologically through the prism of the individual's experience of professional life in the liquid organization.