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La communication publique de la modernité à la revendication de qualité : l’hybridité publique, politique et privée en question

Abstract : The recognition of Public Communication appears today relatively anchored in France. This was not always the case until the 80s and 90s. This one, quite recent, is consequently always an issue. It is now visible in legislative frameworks (Law of 1990, Guide of the public purchase of services in communication 2016), an integration in the academic contexts (research and formations), an identified professional field, an international diffusion of its denomination. A longitudinal analysis will retrace the major hinges and epistemological tracks for his apprehension. It owes a great deal to interactionist action, in the sense of the sociology of professionalization (Dubar, triper), professional associations and especially the Public Communication Association. Public communication is an issue of defining a practice before being a theorized concept (Bessières). It corresponds to an institutional communication of public bodies. As a result, it refers to a field of organizational communication, that of public organizations, of which it appears isomorphic. But public communication in France, and in European Latin countries, corresponds to a definition that can be specified, particularly in relation to the model inspired by Anglo-Saxon conceptions, particularly in Canada. The latter seems to correspond to a counterpart of the concept of public space (Beauchamp). This is not the case in France, where it remains marked by an institutional logic in which predominantly top-down public authority dominates for traditional and legal reasons. Especially since it is historically the prerogative of executive powers and public decision makers, at their service, and does not appear from a "social demand" although it is often and abusively invoked in academic speeches or professionals justifying it. We will see that the recent developments of "participation" and social networks in France seem to be indebted to an analysis in terms of an image of openness in a communicative aim rather than a real desire to share power in a logic of governance. at least vis-à-vis the populations. It deviates from the politically disqualified electoral political communications since the end of the 90s, although it reflects a hybrid reality peculiar to public administrations (bureaucratic structures run by politicians). One of the interesting points to study is that public communication refers in a certain way to the conditions of its emergence. In particular, we want to see how public communication continues, from its origins, to represent the "metamorphoses of the social space", in the sense that its plasticity of use has made it, for social actors, a historically evolving emblem: a mark of bureaucratic power, then a sign of modernity, finally a tool of "quality" manager or performance that we will retrace longitudinally. In this sense, public communication reflects changes in the representations of the state in society and at the same time accompanies them: from a less bureaucratic state (Weber) to a state seeking managerial efficiency (Laufer, Bulaud, Paradeise, Bartoli). The criterion of public communication still appears to be mostly organic, but there is a recent hybridization between public communication and corporate communication.
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Contributor : Dominique Bessières <>
Submitted on : Monday, July 9, 2018 - 12:07:16 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 9:58:02 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-01833032, version 1


Dominique Bessières. La communication publique de la modernité à la revendication de qualité : l’hybridité publique, politique et privée en question. Communication publique et métamorphoses de l'espace social : vers un partage d’expériences, Colloque international Université Mohammed V-Rabat (Maroc), Chaire UNESCO sur les pratiques journalistiques et médiatiques - Université de Strasbourg, Département de communication sociale et publique - Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada), Association Marocaine des Sciences de l’Information et de la Communication (AMSIC), SFSIC, May 2017, Rabat, Maroc. ⟨halshs-01833032⟩



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