chapter  4
Strategy as discursive practice
ByRoumen Dimitrov
Pages 11

Silence and non-silence mutually determine one another, and their concrete play constitutes unique variations in strategic communication. A way of thinking of strategy is as discursive practice. Public relations (PR) strategies are only tactics in the big picture of discursive practices. Discursive practices are repetitive and essentially collective patterns, through which everyone represents and constructs the society, although often in an unreflected and routine – 'doxic', in Pierre Bourdieu's terminology – fashion. Bourdieu shares Michel Foucault's anti-structuralist thrust but at the same he tries to salvage the notion of human agency, which Foucault discards in his anti-humanist critique of subjectivism. Foucault's concern is with secrecy as explicit, manifest silence. Like the public secret, manifest silence is a paradox. Strategic silence, however, becomes critical in Bourdieu's theory of practice especially when he shifts his gaze from habitus to the symbolic exchanges between people in 'virtuosic' interaction, nested in a constantly negotiated network of relations.