EIDOS: Cultural and communication studies

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  • Sociology of culture and communication
  • Public opinion and collective memory
  • Audiovisual communication in the digital era
  • The digital divide and intergenerational conflicts
  • The ethics of journalism and the treatment of conflict in the media

Sociology of culture and communication. The aim of this line of research is to study the various forms of cultural creation, circulation, and participation in contemporary society. This includes the creation of content and the emergence of new types of communication in the digital area. We study new cultural practices and new forms of participation in the new environment which is constantly changing. We also seek to analyze the impact of digital technology on the production and dissemination of knowledge and audiovisual content.

Public opinion and collective memory. The digitalization of information has led to a more individualized selection of information which puts existing paradigms concerning the generation of public opinion under strain. The new personal and social habits of consumption involve not only run the risk of polarizing political positions but also the birth of new spaces for public interaction. The theoretical and methodological tools of mass communication and the sociology of public opinion need to be kept up to date in order to find rigorous ways of describing current dynamics.  We aim to explore certain areas at the intersection of public opinion with collective memory. This involves interdisciplinary research on the most sensitive aspects of democracy from a communications perspective and on the redefinition of democracy in the digitalization era.

Audiovisual communication in the digital era. Contemporary culture makes access to audiovisual products available to all, both in terms of consumption and in production. Still or moving images, sound, and music provide the symbology with which citizens today represent themselves and interpret the world. This is a world which is constantly evolving and in which the adoption of technology makes it necessary to rethink analytical approaches. This field of study deals with new concepts such as transmedia and the mediation of visual objects and digital technologies in human interactions. We see audiovisual communication as a cultural artefact which can be studied with various languages and disciplines which help to identify its social implications.

The digital divide and intergenerational conflict. The aim of this line of research is to analyze the cultural distance and conflicts between the generations. The objective is to explore the extent to which there is a “digital divide” between adolescents, parents and teachers and what impact this has on the perceptions and fears which parents and teachers have with regard to adolescents’ use of ITC. We study the perception and use of ITC by various groups, particularly adolescents, in creating new social and communication networks. The AUSTICA and DIGECON projects were carried out by researchers in this research area.

Ethics of journalism in the treatment of groups suffering discrimination. The aim of this line of research is to study the ethical responsibility of journalists in their treatment of news, especially in situations of conflict. One objective is to analyze the codes of ethics and the criteria applied by communicators to news reporting and their degree of compliance with the recommendations formulated by certain institutions. We also study news referring to ethnic groups and social and cultural minorities in conflict situations. Another aim is to study the social uses of media and ITC and the impact of media messages on audiences, particularly sensitive groups, such as children or adolescents. We also look at social groups (such as women or immigrants) who have been traditionally discriminated against and who do not always receive suitable treatment by the media.