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Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

Some recent reflections from Pamplona

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I’m starting a new blog to track the creation of my next book on appearance, deception, fast and slow communication. It’s provisionally titled Public Relations and Depth Communication: Behind the Mask (for the Routledge New Directions in Public Relations and Communications Research series). Will have thoughts, reviews, links. Followers, suggestions & contributions cordially invited here: Mask bookmask

  • with thanks to Padraig Macnamara for beautiful logo

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Just discovered my book on public relations and professional ethics is now in paperback. Always wanted it to be more accessible – do hope some of you will buy or borrow it .

PR and ethics book

 

Public Relations Ethics Fawkes

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I’m very touched by the generous and thoughtful responses to my book from the range of international professors of communication who have endorsed my forthcoming book (due out in July). Makes me feel like I’ve written the book I wanted to write.

Book reviews for Public relations ethics and professionalism: the shadow of excellence

 

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Very excited to receive invitation to be a keynote speaker at the 13th Annual Communication Ethics conference at Duquesne University, Pittburgh in June.

Communication Ethics conference

 

The line-up is really rich and the event is organised around a series of keynotes and discussions as well as panel and paper presentations. Have managed to rearrange planned visit to UK to include quick trip to US (from here, they look very close together). What really attracts me is that the department, led by esteemed Prof Ron Arnett, looks at communication from a philosophical perspective, encouraging a range of debates not always common in the more familiar applied approaches.

I’m working on ideas about the potential for the concept of polis, society in its more exalted state, as a transcendent function, in the Jungian sense, a framework within which the ego (or any entity intent solely on gratification) can become relativised, stepping back from the centre and seeing itself as an aspect of a greater whole. Was feeling very pleased with this idea until an excellent seminar with CSU Professor Steve Redhead this week  reminded me that the overarching global structures are currently crumbling around our ears, making them poor candidates for such a role. A podcast based on the seminar can be found here: Steve Redhead’s page.

Hmm. Hoping that asking the question is of interest even if no solutions in sight…….

New piece from Zizek amplifies absence of world order. New Zizek piece

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I have a couple of new publications available online:

1) Interpreting ethics: Public relations and strong hermeneutics, in exciting new journal Public Relations Inquiry

http://pri.sagepub.com/content/1/2/117

 

Abstract

This article suggests that public relations’ inadequate engagement with the complexities of ethical theory has contributed to public loss of trust in its activities. Instead of blaming this on publics, communicators could take more responsibility for their professional ethics. The author suggests that a hermeneutic approach to ethics opens up a new area for debate in the field. Public relations ethics have traditionally drawn on the major approaches of deontology (Kant) and consequentialism (Bentham and Mill), with marginal reference to the more recent revival of Aristotelian virtue ethics (MacIntyre, 1984), an approach that shifts attention from ethical action to ethical agent. Thus discussion of ethics in public relations literature (Fitzpatrick and Bronstein, 2006; S. A. Bowen, 2007; McElreath, 1996) concentrates on rational approaches to ethical decision making, based (respectively) in marketplace theory, Kantian approaches or systems theory. In these and other writings, there is an emphasis, as is common in approaches to professional ethics, on external rule-based ethics rather than attempts to focus on inner processes to assess ethical implications of practice. This article argues that as concepts of professionalism shift and buckle under global economic and social pressures, it might be timely to look less to systems and more to human experience for ethical guidance. A hermeneutic approach, drawing on the philosophy of interpretation developed in recent decades by thinkers such as Gadamer, Habermas and Riceour, offers an alternative, inner, path to an ethics drawn from the search for shared meaning.

The article starts with a brief overview of the current state of public relations ethics, suggesting a reliance on somewhat superficial codes for guidance and the absence of reflexivity in ethical debates; it then introduces concepts from hermeneutics and its main schools or approaches, with a particular focus on hermeneutic ethics. Finally, the article links the two topics to show how ‘strong’ hermeneutic ethics might contribute to greater reflexivity in public relations ethics. It aims to shift the ethical debate away from notional reliance on codes and external guidance towards a deeper ethic. The approach taken is broadly critical (Hall, 1980; Heath, 1992) and is itself interpretative, making the article doubly-hermeneutic (Giddens, 1984) in both form and content.

2) Cultural complexes in professional ethics, in the Jungian Scholarly Studies Journal (backdated to 2010, when it should have been published)

http://www.thejungiansociety.org/Jung%20Society/e-journal/Volume-6/Fawkes-2010.pdf

Abstract

In creating a Jungian perspective on professional ethics, this paper suggests
that professions create ethical statements and codes predicated on idealized selfimages and fail to engage with the shadow aspects of the occupational group. A
brief survey of approaches to the study of professional ethics illustrates divergent
attitudes to professions in general, with some scholars (Durkheim, for example)
considering their function as stabilizing influences in society and others (broadly
following Weber) who find professional claims to be self-serving and empty. An
overview of literature suggests most professional ethics offer greater support for
the latter than former view, though discussions on Asian, discourse, and virtue
ethics have influenced thinking in this field in recent years. This discussion offers a
space for a Jungian contribution to the field of professional ethics, one that has not
been suggested before despite the obvious parallels between the idealized image
and a Jungian persona, with the disowned aspects of practice relegated to the
shadow dimensions. As most approaches to professional ethics, particularly as
embodied in codes, are constructed around such persona images, I argue that they
are too partial to be ethical in any deep sense. Indeed, they thrive on claims of
moral superiority while rejecting deviant members of the group as Other, as “bad
apples”, despite Zimbardo’s (2007) evocation of “bad barrels.”
….
It explores the tensions in professional ethics, conceptualizes professions as
psychic entities with the potential to integrate shadow material, and suggests how
such a Jungian approach might form the foundation of a new ethic. Finally, this
paper considers the implications of such an approach for the particular profession

More online and offline papers due shortly – the introductory article (with Kevin Moloney) to a special issue of PRISM on PR and power; and a piece on competing identities in PR ethics in Public Relations Review, details to follow.

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In the final stages of sorting new 2 year appointment as Senior Lecturer in PR at Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW (http://www.csu.edu.au/). Due to start in November 2011, with particular goal of increasing research outputs of self and team. Already know and like Dr Peter Simmons, who runs the PR section, and have just met his warm and welcoming wife Bernie and loads of wonderful women in Australian/NZ PR education – made strong connections with Barbara Walsh and Kay Weaver – I already know Christine Daymon and re-connected with Judy Motion in Australia, plus  Margolit Toledano and her lovely husband David Mckie in NZ, so feel sure of good antipodean welcome.

Looking forward to teaching again – probably first year UG module/course, plus DBA and PhD supervision – a lot of online teaching, which will be a new experience.

Great deal to sort out logistically, renting out my home in Leeds, then finding and furnishing a home in Bathurst, plus tax, pensions etc. May start a new blog about the ups and downs of the trip or use this one as base? Whole thing is a massive adventure, unexpected and deeply exciting.

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