XVII ISA World Congress of Sociology, Sociology on the move, Gothenburg, Sweden, July 2010

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Research Committee on
Sociology of Communication, Knowledge and Culture RC14

Programme Coordinator
Christiana Constantopoulou, Panteion University, Greece, sociolog@otenet.gr

Congress Programme

 

RC14 general theme is “Communication, Knowledge and Culture on the Move”, attempting to raise a series of questions about intellectuals, the mass media, the current course of technical and economic developments in society and their consequences for the culture. The new distributive technologies have already re-opened some of the more enthralling controversies of the past. Communication changes have vast implications for the organization of work, the economy, and the roles which people are able to play in society, their relationship to that society and to the polity. The corollary of this is that it is important to look not just at the technology but also at the political economy in which it is being developed, to consider what type of organizations and corporations are associated with the present range of media provision and which with the new technologies that are likely to be introduced, what interests they are likely to pursue, consciously and unconsciously, and the type of social and political structures that they are likely to both promote and reflect. These structural changes are bound to have a profound effect on the organization and content of forms of intellectual work.

The twin major features of the contemporary culture –consumptive hedonism and anti-political repression- have a special significance given the implications which the new technology has for the international reorganization of work and production. The signs are that the market will be the main mechanism for allowing access to the new media services; the results of relying on these forms of the market are already apparent in the press where the only viable form of journalism is that founded on definable markets as in the leisure interest magazine field. Consequently, the public sphere in the media is clearly the most vulnerable. 

At the same time, the “information age” reveals issues such as “communication revolution”, convergence and concentration in the media industries, the relationship among new technologies, the self and social life (new intimacies, new cultures), the identity crisis (as the study of the media in the twenty-first century will have to be concerned with issues of identity, if for no other reason than the fact that they have been placed firmly on the agenda by the media themselves. From talk shows to dramas, from news broadcasts to feature films, from newspaper editorials to Internet sites, questions of identity seem to be paramount; identity is also linked with concepts of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality and sometimes, class). The communication research has also to deal with the media acceleration and the increasing velocity of everyday life, the privacy and surveillance in everyday life ethics, the social impact of information and communication technologies (network computing, hacking and digital underground). Till now, regardless of one’s view of the discipline of communication, journalism has occupied a central place in it: and although news is not fiction, it is a story about reality, not reality itself; yet, because of its privileged status as reality and truth, the seductive powers of its narratives are particularly significant (although narrative theory’s origins are in literary theory and rhetorical analysis, it has been receiving increased attention lately from scholars in a variety of fields, in both the humanities and the social sciences: storytelling is an important human activity, and through an informal knowledge of the narrative process, people interpret the indistinct information found in society).


Sessions

Session 1: Media, news and storytelling
Chair: C. Constantopoulou, Panteion University, Greece, sociolog@otenet.gr
We live in a world erected by the stories we hear and see and tell: unlocking incredible riches through imagery and words, conjuring up the unseen through art, creating towering works of imagination and fact through science, poetry, song, tales reports, and laws –that is the magic of human life. The stories that animate our cultural environment have three distinct but related functions: 1) they reveal how things work 2) describe what things are, 3) tell us what to do about them (G. Gerbner). Stories can now be sent across hitherto impenetrable or closely guarded boundaries of time, space and status. The session will focus on “dominant stories” given by the media.

Session 2: Media “stories”
Chair Annik Dubied, University of Geneva, Switzerland, annik.dubied@unige.ch

Session 3: Self and media
Chair: Joseph Kotarba, University of Houston, USA, jkotarba@uh.edu
This session will approach the increasing challenges to which individuals are confronted to, especially expressed by the exigencies of definition of the contours that should assume their own identities, since individuals in the most different social contexts are compelled to define their own lifestyle –understood as a whole of practices followed by them that give visibility of a particular narrative of self-identity- that synthesizes their place in a connected to the definition and manipulation of self.

Session 4: Subjectivity and power
Round Table
Chair: Jochen Dreher, University of Konstanz, Germany,
jochen.dreher@uni-konstanz.de and Daniela Lopez, lopez.daniela@gmail.com

Session 5: Changes in work and leisure - Media and the public space
Joint session of RC13 Sociology of Leisure, RC14 Sociology of Communication, Knowledge and Culture [host committee] and RC30 Sociology of Work

Session 6: Gender and identities
Chair: H. Santos, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, hermilio@pucrs.br
This session will approach the increasing challenges to which individuals are confronted to, especially expressed by the exigencies of definition of the contours that should assume their own identities

Session 7: Media images and gender
Chair: A. Halkia, Panteion University, Greece, halkiasa@otenet.gr
This session continues to approach the increasing challenges to which individuals are confronted to, especially expressed by the exigencies of definition of the contours that should assume their own identities

Session 8: Media and mass culture
Chair: Marina D’Amato, University of Roma, Italy, m.damato@uniroma3.it
This session continues to approach the increasing challenges to which individuals are confronted to, especially expressed by the exigencies of definition of the contours that should assume their own identities

Session 9: Movies and mass culture
Chair: Giselle Touzard, University of Nevada, USA, giselle@unlv.nevada.edu
What influence does the cinema have on visual culture and social understanding? In what ways are we products of the cinematic gaze? The cinema turns its audience into voyeurs, eagerly following the lives of its screen characters (onlookers, spying on other people’s lives, obsessive outsider, ethnic or sexual other…), regulating social behaviour… What is the effect of the cinema (from film and film literature …) in the social construction of everyday life? Can we call our society “cinematic”?  

Session 10: Media and consumerism
Chair Isleide Fontenelle, Brazil, idefontenelle@uol.com.br
This session invites a discussion in regards to hours of viewing and interacting through the media when it becomes problematic and interferes with people's functioning and face-to-face interactions. How much viewing is too much? How much consumption could be considered out of control? What patterns in these are similar to more general addictions, such as gambling or drug abuse? Focusing on new media, we pay attention to the transformations in the consumer culture, examining the pervasiveness and effects of advertisement.

Session 11: Intellectuals on the move in the global age
Round Table
Joint session of RC14 Sociology of Communication, Knowledge and Culture [host committee] and RC37 Sociology of Arts

Session 12: New media futures. Part C. Inequalities and practices
Joint Session of RC07 Futures Research and RC14 Communication, Knowledge, and Culture [host committee]

Session 13: Récits sociaux : questions théoriques
Présidents: Christiana Constantopoulou, University Panteion, Greece, sociolog@otenet.gr and Ferruccio Gamba, University Sapienza, Rome, Italy fiorenza.gamba@uniromal.it
Longtemps considéré comme une forme de communication réservée aux enfants, le story-telling (forme de discours qui s’impose à tous les secteurs de la société et transcende les lignes de partage politiques, culturelles ou professionnelles) connaît un succès depuis le milieu des années 90 (âge narratif ? – Ch. Salmon) et va beaucoup plus loin qu’un simple réaménagement dans la promotion des marques : il inclut une vision du monde et il la projette dans toute la société. Cette session révélera des questions théoriques.

Session 14: Récits sociaux : analyse de cas
Présidents: Pierre Bouvier, France pbouvier@msh-paris.fr and Catherine Loneux catherine.loneux@uhb.fr
Une nouvelle  société de rêve est   proposée (à travers les produits qui racontent leur histoire aux consommateurs). Histoires et contes alimentés du patrimoine féerique parle à notre imaginaire mondialisé tout en nous fournissant un sentiment d’ appartenance (Lewi).   Du coup, les bavardages, les racontars, les commérages et les rumeurs prennent un nouveau statut (celui du vecteur d’ expériences et de connaissances). Des analyses de cas surligneront des divers points de cette réalité en train de se faire.

Session 15: Discours « de gestion » (dans la post-modernité)
Président: Luc Bonneville. University of Ottawa, Canada, luc.bonneville@uottawa.ca and Daniela Frumusani, Bucarest University, Romania, dfrum@fjsc.ro
La déconstruction de l’identité spatio-temporelle de l’entreprise entraîne un brouillage des coordonnées du travail, un ordre de dispersion générale qui va sonner le glas des mobilisations : cette démobilisation va susciter une surenchère des propositions visant à provoquer une remobilisation émotionnelle. Les moyens d’expression et de narration passent actuellement à des pratiques nouvelles où internet et la pratique des « stories » dominent pour le nouvel « ordre narratif »…

Session 16: Business Meeting

Session 17: Mediatization, 1
Chair: G. Taddeo, Italy, gabriella.taddeo@polito.it

Session 18: Mediatization, 2
Chair: Constantin Schifirnet, Romania, cschifirnet@yahoo.com

Joint sessions hosted by other RC

Joint session: Culture on the move: Arts and societies in the 21st century -rationalization in the arts
Joint session of RC14 Sociology of Communication, Knowledge and Culture and RC37 Sociology of Arts [host committee]

Joint session: Surveillance and popular culture
Joint Session of RC14 Sociology of Communication, Knowledge and Culture and RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology [host committee]

Joint session: New media futures. Part A. Theoretical Perspectives
Joint Session of RC07 Futures Research [host committee], RC14 Communication, Knowledge, and Culture and RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology

Joint session: New media futures. Part B. Collective action and politics
Joint Session of RC07 Futures Research [host committee], RC14 Communication, Knowledge, and Culture and RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology