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Buddhist Public Relations Model for Thai Community Development: Theoretical and Practical Implications
Unformatted Document Text:  Buddhist Public Relations - ICA-15-11634 7 As the preceding discussion illustrates, it is suggested that more research should be done on enhancing the notion of relationship management and community building by being concern with the socially well-being of the broader publics. The important research issues that need to be highlighted are the nature of social settings, the networks of social interaction, power relationships, conflict resolution, and cultural understanding. In the following sections, I take up these challenges within the public relations context in Thailand. I develop further an alternative approach that is based on the integration of Western qualitative approaches, Thai indigenous knowledge, and their Buddhist way of living. An Alternative Direction of Public Relations for Community Development The multiplicity paradigm necessitates a broad-based integration framework that can provide greater sensitivity to sociocultural issues. As the emphasis begins to move from “the absoluteness” to “the dynamic inter-connectedness,” there is a need to see social reality as a result of “relational processes” that include a profound sense of relationships, including those among people and those between people and their society and natural environment (Buddhadasa, 1988; Gergen, 1999). This “relational process” requires the understanding of the “holistic integration” framework in which social reality is understood as referring to wholeness, inter-connectedness, dynamic relationships, and ongoing constructions that vary in different cultural and historical contexts (Gergen, 1999; Tomer, 1999). It is noted that “holistic integration” can be understood only by widening our view to include the community-building context in which cultures, values, and social relationships become core concepts, encouraging individual actors to take seriously the voices of others—the voices of difference—without forcing these others to share one’s viewpoint (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996). The “holistic integration” framework

Authors: Hanpongpandh, Peeraya.
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Buddhist Public Relations - ICA-15-11634
7
As the preceding discussion illustrates, it is suggested that more research
should be done on enhancing the notion of relationship management and community
building by being concern with the socially well-being of the broader publics. The
important research issues that need to be highlighted are the nature of social settings,
the networks of social interaction, power relationships, conflict resolution, and
cultural understanding. In the following sections, I take up these challenges within
the public relations context in Thailand. I develop further an alternative approach that
is based on the integration of Western qualitative approaches, Thai indigenous
knowledge, and their Buddhist way of living.
An Alternative Direction of Public Relations for Community Development
The multiplicity paradigm necessitates a broad-based integration framework
that can provide greater sensitivity to sociocultural issues. As the emphasis begins to
move from “the absoluteness” to “the dynamic inter-connectedness,” there is a need
to see social reality as a result of “relational processes” that include a profound sense
of relationships, including those among people and those between people and their
society and natural environment (Buddhadasa, 1988; Gergen, 1999). This “relational
process” requires the understanding of the “holistic integration” framework in which
social reality is understood as referring to wholeness, inter-connectedness, dynamic
relationships, and ongoing constructions that vary in different cultural and historical
contexts (Gergen, 1999; Tomer, 1999).
It is noted that “holistic integration” can be understood only by widening our
view to include the community-building context in which cultures, values, and social
relationships become core concepts, encouraging individual actors to take seriously
the voices of others—the voices of difference—without forcing these others to share
one’s viewpoint (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996). The “holistic integration” framework


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