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Research

Objectives and scope

The Blanquerna School of Communication and International Relations (SCIR) conducts research in the fields of culture and social media. It aims to contribute to the growth of knowledge and to respond to the challenges inherent in today's society. Our researchers conduct basic research as a starting point for innovative applications for the future. For this reason, the School is firmly committed to their transfer to social and productive environments, by proposing best practices in communication based on its results. It seeks to generate original research ideas and bring new perspectives supported by empirical results.

The backbone of our research considers that communication processes are configured by the influence of structures, values and individual and social inter-relationships. Concerns about social conflict, globalization in relation to cultural identity, communication mainstreaming in economic dynamics and the impact of technology on social practices are major challenges that inspire our theoretical and empirical research.

The pool of researchers at the Blanquerna SCIR belong to several collaboration networks linking academic institutions, government and business sectors, at a Catalan, Spanish and international level. So the backbone of research at Blanquerna is inserted into the Focus Areas of the Aristos Campus Mundus project, promoted by the Ramon Llull, Deusto and Comillas Universities. Since May 2010, these universities are aggregated in a Campus of International Excellence, and have signed an advanced strategic cooperation agreement with Georgetown University, Boston College and Fordham University, in North America. The joint commitment is one of fostering social, equitable, responsible and sustainable social innovation. In this context, the research activity of the Blanquerna School of Communication and International Relations is organized according to five priority areas of research:

  • Sociology of communication. Includes the study of social conflict, media representation and social perception of violence; intergenerational conflict; the digital divide; representation of the other in the new media.
     
  • Corporate communication. Studies the role of communication strategies in driving change within organizations, methodologies for developing communication audits, new trends in brands, public relations and corporate culture; advertising creativity and planning; issues management; the use of participatory media in political communication.
     
  • Film and television. Addresses research on politics and cultural identity through the media, audiovisual and transmedia narrative; intersection dynamics between citizenship, culture and television; new forms of film exhibition in the digital age.
     
  • Technology and communication. Addresses the impact of technology on journalism and communication practices; media convergence, accountability and journalistic ethics; public policies on communication.
     
  • Journalism, politics and democracy. Analyses political commitment and participation processes, using communication dynamics, the characterization of contemporary citizenship, international communication flows and global journalism. It also analyzes active audiences’ processes of reception and coproduction of meaning.

Our research has numerous quality guarantees. Researchers at Blanquerna SCIR are integrated into four research groups that have been awarded the qualification of 'consolidated research group' by the Agency for Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR) of the Generalitat de Catalunya (the Catalan Government).

In teaching, trainee researchers are offered an intensive and high-quality program on the approach to study of the media industries and communication in general. Future researchers will acquire skills based on a wide range of qualitative and quantitative social science methodologies, while developing critical thinking skills. They will benefit from a stimulating intellectual environment, with numerous educational resources and support for the internationalization of their academic career. Researchers will be encouraged to attend centers of excellence as an aid to writing their doctoral thesis or post-doctoral project.