Nr. 3-4 /2017 -2
There is little scholarly research on the history of public relations in post-communist Romania with few exceptions (Dolea, 2012; Rogojinaru, 2009, 2014). This study aims to fill the gap and explore the historical reconstruction of the public relations development and role in the book publishing industry. This particular industry was chosen as it is considered emblematic for the effects of the Communist regime on a society: lowest book consumption in Europe with 1 book per capita per year (Barbu, 2015); almost half of the population has not read even a book during an entire year (Eurobarometer Cultural access and participation, 2013), while almost 40% of Romanian high school students have difficulties in reading and understanding a text read for the first time (Program for International Students Assessment, 2012). Building on social construction theory (Berger & Luckmann, 1966/2008), the reconstructive approach (Bentele, 2008) and, methodologically, on the historical sociology approach (L’Etang, 2004, 2014), this study explores the intertwined relations between different actors, practices and structures of public relations in an industry which aims to increase book consumption and reading habits. Moreover, it places these intertwined relationships within a historical context, tracing the evolutions of public relations during a quarter of a century.
Keywords: public relations in Romania, book publishing industry, historical reconstitution, post-Communist Romania, functional illiteracy.