Semantic Apparatus – When public relations can heal: An embodied theory of silence for public communication

Cited by Lee Sonogan

The Spiral of Silence Theory

Abstract by Cristina Archetti

This article extends the conceptualization of silence in public relations beyond strategic communication. It develops a new theoretical framework to explain the mechanisms through which suffering and pain felt inside the body translate into silence, exclusion from public debate, and communication gaps in health communication. This happens through intermediate steps that involve, among others, the role of the media in the narrative construction of the body and the self. This framework advances an understanding of public relations oriented towards civil society and is based on the empirical case study of involuntary childlessness (i.e. not having children not by choice): even in the age of ubiquitous communication, despite affecting about 25% of the adult population of virtually all developed countries, this issue is shrouded in taboo and seldom heard of. The analysis makes the case for a more material, indeed embodied, approach to conceptualizing silence in public relations.

Publication: Public Relations Inquiry (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

Pub Date: May 5, 2021 Doi:

Keywords: Silence, public relations, political public relations, theory, embodiment, childlessness (Plenty more sections and references in this research article)

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