An attitudinal study of gender and roles in public relations among practioners in the Midwest

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Parke, Sarah E.
Popovich, Mark N.
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Journalism
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Previous research has shown that although women outnumber men in public relations, women hold inferior positions, are paid less, and possess less credibility in their organization.Gender and roles in public relations has become a common focus of research for the public relations scholar; however, very few studies have used Q-methodology to gauge attitudes on this subject.Using Q-methodology, 21 public relations practitioners from a variety of organizations in 3 states were asked to sort 48 statements concerning attitudes about gender and roles in the field. Two factors emerged from the results and were labeled: Initiators and Generalists.Results indicated gender was no longer a factor in what roles the practitioner played and roles in public relations were blurring. It suggests further research should focus on differences between generalists and specialists rather than managers and technicians.