This summary is provided by IPR from the original journal article in the Journal of Public Relations Research

Dr. Bey-Ling Sha explored how differences in identification with a cultural group predicted differences in the variables of the situational theory of publics, a theory used to segment stakeholders of an organization (J.E. Grunig & Childers, 1988; J.E. Grunig & Hunt, 1984).

Dr. Sha examined three variables of the situational theory of publics: problem recognition (the extent to which individuals recognize a problem facing them), level of involvement (how relevant a problem is for an individual), and constraint recognition (the extent to which individuals see their actions as limited by factors beyond their control).

A mail survey of 90 undergraduate students was conducted.

Key findings include:

·       Respondents with a minority identity were significantly more likely to recognize racioethnic problems on campus.
·       African American and Asian American students were both significantly more likely than white Americans to seek information about cultural diversity.
·       African American students were significantly more likely than both whites and Hispanics to be members of the minority public.

Read the full report to learn about the relationship between cultural identity and the segmentation of publics.


Sha, B. (2006). Cultural Identity in the Segmentation of Publics: An Emerging Theory of Intercultural Public Relations. Journal of Public Relations Research, 18(1), 45-65. doi:10.1207/s1532754xjprr1801_3

Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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