Anthony Giddens and public relations: A third way perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In the article, the main theories of Anthony Giddens (structuration and late modernity theory) are presented and applied upon public relations. A review shows that there have been few attempts to use these theories in public relations. The analysis states that using Giddens leads to a questioning of the dichotomy between instrumental agency-oriented theories that neglects power structures as well as critical theories that only views public relations as hidden strategic action used by elites to dominate the public sphere. The conclusion is that there are two major arguments for applying Giddens to public relations: (1) the theory of late modernity may enhance our understanding of public relations as an evolving practice in socio-historical and spatial terms; (2) the structuration theory enhances the holistic understanding of how public relations communication, interpreted as a process, may be used both as a reproductive and a transforming social instrument. Giddens theory may in other words be used as a "third way public relations theory". (C) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • structuration theory, Anthony Giddens, social theory, public relations, late modernity, reflexivity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-293
JournalPublic Relations Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch