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Abstract

This article presents an overview of the evolution and emerging architecture of the public relations academic discipline. Key developments and debates are described, highlighting some of the major tensions and debates that have arisen. The scope of discussion proceeds through definitions, a consideration of historical contexts, evolution of public relations research, key approaches, an introduction to the remit of key journals, and finally, consideration as to emerging themes and possible futures. It is suggested that the increasing emphasis on historical, sociological and cultural themes is leading to an increasingly reflexive and diverse field.