Gender, community affairs and public relations practice in Ghanaian mines: a socio-linguistic study of gender and language nuances
Community affairs and public relations practice in Ghanaian mines has been dominated by females. To gain adequate understanding of this phenomenon, it is prudent to explore its gendered nature. Literature from feminist theorists draws collective attention to the centrality of gender in shaping social relations, pointing out that gender is one of the central organizing principles around which social life revolves. However, the field being feminized faces the realities of gender-bias, glass ceiling effects, dwindling fame, status and lack of influence within the sector. This paper explores the community affairs and public relations practice as well as the phenomenon of gendering their roles in Ghanaian mines. The study was a phenomenological inquiry which adopted qualitative approaches, and conducted in-depth interviews with respondents in three mining companies. Discourse analysis was employed in analysing the statements of the respondents. Results show that community affairs and public relations officers from the mines function as the face of the mining companies in the communities in terms of engagements and communications. Results further indicate that culture, customs and traditions temper the language and posture of the mining communities making it very difficult for them to be aggressive, tough and rough towards female community affairs and public relations officers. Thus, female community affairs and public relations officers serve virtually as shields against the venoms and darts of anger emanating from the occasional embittered community members. The paper has social and practical implications for ensuring diversity management and gender equity in Ghanaian mining environments.
Keywords: gender, community affairs, public relations, communications, language nuances, engagements, Ghanaian mines.