Faculty Publications

The Role And Ethics Of Community Building For Consumer Products And Services

Document Type

Book Chapter


Chicago school of social thought, Communitarian, Community, Community-building, Consumer community, Culture, Ethics norms, Public relations, Social capital, Social ethic, Society, Values

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Handbook of Product Placement in the Mass Media: New Strategies in Marketing Theory, Practice, Trends, and Ethics

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Last Page



Kruckeberg and Starck (1988) argue that public relations is the active attempt to restore and maintain the sense of community that has been lost in contemporary society. Many manufacturers and service providers seek "communities" of consumers. However, what is the social ethic of such consumer communities? Do they provide an authentic "sense of community" as advocated by Kruckeberg and Starck? This article examines these and related questions and offers suggestions regarding the creation and maintenance of consumer "communities." Consumer communities-when appropriately formed and nurtured-can have impact on individuals and society at large that are best considered from a public relations, not marketing, viewpoint.


Department of Communication Studies

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version