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    Rights statement: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Public Relations Inquiry, ? (?), 2020, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2020 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Public Relations Inquiry page: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/PRI on SAGE Journals Online: http://journals.sagepub.com/

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The secrecy−transparency dynamic: a sociological reframing of secrecy and transparency for public relations research

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Forthcoming
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/02/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Public Relations Inquiry
Publication statusAccepted/In press
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article offers a sociological account of how we might analyse the relationship between contemporary practices and discourses of secrecy on the one hand and those of transparency on the other. While secrecy is often framed in popular and political discourses as the antithesis of transparency, in reality their relationship is more complex and co-constitutive than may initially appear. The article argues that understanding the interface between secrecy and transparency as a socially embedded dynamic can offer public relations scholarship productive avenues for both theoretically-oriented research and empirical studies. In its role in the management of the secrecy−transparency dynamic, PR plays a significant role in actively creating social relations. This article aims to provide resources for assessing the strength of this dynamic in acting to structure social, political and economic relations, and offers new perspectives on how techniques employed to manage the secrecy−transparency dynamic – including public relations – are both embedded in such relations and act to shape them.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Public Relations Inquiry, ? (?), 2020, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2020 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Public Relations Inquiry page: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/PRI on SAGE Journals Online: http://journals.sagepub.com/