Humanities and Communication

Communication

Thesis proposal Researhers Research group

The presence of women in the media (both general and specialist): trend analysis and comparison

The presence of women in the media, as well as in senior management positions, is the focus of interest and observation. Both fields fit with SDG 5 (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls). This research is therefore is in line with the political context and agenda.

 
Dr Candela Ollé GAME

Gender and/or gender violence and the media: treatment analysis and proposals for good practices 

Research analysing the way the media treat gender and/or cases of gender violence can take on a wide range of approaches, boundaries and temporal scopes and the drawing of good practices, as a result of a study, is both applicable and of interest.

 
Dr Candela Ollé GAME

New Trends in Persuasive Communication 

The field of advertising and public relations must permit students to research both the theoretical underpinnings and the current real-world application of corporate communications and public relations, performing in-depth analysis of aspects such as advertising creativity, marketing and market research and advertising management.

New Trends in Persuasive Communication 

The knowledge society has significantly altered the persuasive communication scene (advertising and public relations). Firstly, ICT make available to the members of the public a previously unimaginable volume of information and enable them to produce their own content, favouring the creation of a networked society in which pluralism and transparency are significantly reinforced. Secondly, organizations discover new tools at the service of persuasive communication in this ICT, but also new challenges in ensuring that their messages continue to be efficient and are not ignored amongst the unbounded flood of information with which the public is continually bombarded.

In this line of research, students will be analysing the ways in which advertising and public relations are changing to adapt to these new circumstances (social media, viral marketing, crisis communication websites, consumer insights, cyberactivism, advergaming, branded entertainment, creation of virtual communities, etc) and will also study the extent to which they threaten to undermine the theoretical foundations of persuasive communication disciplines.

Diachronic studies encompassing the above fields of advertising and public relations prior to the emergence of the Internet could also fit within this line of research.

 

Dr Ferran Lalueza

Dr Elisenda Estanyol

Dr Mireia Montaña

GAME

Social networks and science communication

Social media and networks are becoming one of the most important tools for exchanging textual and visual information. Science communication is also undergoing a transition towards new ways of disseminating, understanding and creating new scientific knowledge.

Given the above, research into the interaction between the two issues permits analysis of fairly broad factors such as developments in academic social networks (like Mendeley, ResearchGate and Academia.edu) as well as an understanding of whether the new general media are suited to the task of disseminating science.

 
Dr Alexandre López-Borrull KIMO

Science communication in the field of open science 

As a new scientific paradigm, open science needs to understand how traditional forms of science communication will evolve to reach the general public and also to allow it to participate in the design of research itself. Science communication can contribute new narratives and tools to help ensure that knowledge, principally in the form of academic monographs and articles, permeates through to the different layers of society. Additionally, it can include works on alternative bibliometrics to citations, often based on social network metrics, as well as forms of science communication that promote new ways of assessing the social impact of research.

Dr Alexandre López-Borrull

Dr Candela Ollé

 

The transformation of the audiovisual industry: New business models and new forms of creation, production and consumption

This research line focuses on analysing the transformations being experienced by the audiovisual sector with the emergence of digitalization and on-demand consumption in both the film and television sectors. The changes implicit in the business models applicable until now; the breaking of or change in the rhythm between the different exploitation windows, etc.

The main themes of this line are:

  1. Market developments and transformations (home video, film, television).
  2. The adoption of policies to regulate this kind of service and incentivize its development: e-commerce, copyright, audiovisual services
  3. Changes and transformation in audience analysis and measurement systems (big data, social audience, time-shifted and spread viewing, etc.)
Dr Judith Clares-Gavilán GAME

Event management and protocol

Companies and institutions are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of establishing good relations and efficient communications with all of their target publics and stakeholders. Given this, the organization of events and protocol are key tools in managing communication and helping successfully achieve each organization's mission and vision. 

Taking an academic approach, this line of research tackles the conceptualization of protocol and its implementation on the basis of existing standards, from both a theoretical and an applied standpoint. The study also focuses on the ceremonial and organizational aspects of corporate events, taking into account the different types of occasions, encompassing official acts, conferences, open-doors sessions, trade shows, among others, and the new trends that are being adopted in this growing sector.

Dr Elisenda Estanyol

Dr Ferran Lalueza

GAME

Institutional relations, reputation and corporate social responsibility

Nowadays, organizations need to establish, maintain and consolidate fluid, positive and productive relationships with those public and private undertakings capable of having an influence over their activities and/or those over which they seek to have some kind of influence to further their own interests. This is the field of institutional relations, which is one of the thematic focuses of this line of research.

With the effective carrying on of these institutional relations and other communication strategies, organizations have the possibility of bolstering their reputations, defined as a collective mental construct around their track record and the ability to fulfil the expectations of their strategic audience and/or stakeholders. Reputation and its implications are the second focus of this line of research.

Lastly, these days, reputation cannot be conceived of without paying due attention to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Given that the public is increasingly demanding greater transparency and a commitment to environmental and social issues, organizations must work on their communication strategies to demonstrate this responsibility and the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) defined by the UN. So, CSR, when regarded from a communication standpoint, can also be the object of study within this line of research.

Dr Elisenda Estanyol

Dr Ferran Lalueza

GAME

Applied creativity

Creativity is so easily associated with advertising, design and audiovisual communication. Nevertheless, this option can encompass work aimed at analysing emerging creative forms in any communication-related discipline (including journalism) or examine the relationship between a message's creativity and its effectiveness (persuasive or informative).

Dr Sílvia Sivera (advertising)

Dr Silvia Martínez (journalism)

Dr Elisenda Estanyol (public relations and corporate communication)

GAME

Analysing the advertising sector

Professional associations and institutes are increasingly interested in obtaining reliable data to gauge a sector that is outgrowing its own limits. In addition to advertisers and PR professionals, there are brand managers, content creators, community managers, growth hackers, audiovisual producers and a vast array of other players interacting and/or competing in the design and management of brand communication. 

Understanding the new dynamics of the sector's workings, its makeup, organization, complexities, limits and prospects is of key importance in consolidating and proposing the galvanization/growth strategies promoted by associations, professional institutes and public bodies.

We have signed partnership agreements with some of the above, and so it would be worthwhile carrying out applied research into them. Students may propose the perspective that fits with their interests, the idea being that this line of research takes the pulse of sector realities.

Dr Sílvia Sivera GAME

Analysis of the representation of stigmatized groups in the media and on social networks

Analysis of the citizenry’s access to the public sphere (media and social networks). Our research interest is especially focused on those groups and collectives that have traditionally remained outside of the hegemonic public sphere and that, additionally, face growing levels of stigmatization. The proposal is to focus analysis on specific cases, such as young people currently or formerly in care, migrant women, etc.

Dr Anna Clua Infante

Dr Núria Ferran

Àgora 

The impact of social media in the construction of media, political and public agendas

Usage of social networks shapes habits in the production and consumption of information, giving rise to ephemeral narratives with different degrees of impact in terms of the place given by the messages in the communication strategies of the different players in the public sphere. This line of research analyses the impact of social networks in the construction of media, political and public agendas. It will be based upon current debates on the formation of public opinion around topical issues (such as the climate crisis, the housing crisis, prospects for the young, immigration, Catalan independence and the feminist struggle). Specifically, we propose observing the construction of both hegemonic and dissident discourses, as well as discussion mechanisms within contemporary communication systems. 

Dr Anna Clua Infante

Dr Núria Ferran

Àgora 

The construction of the public sphere around the disputes within feminism

This line of work focuses specifically upon the field of feminism as a space for transformation. It is considered important to pay attention to cases that are currently repositioning gender issues and creating controversy between different feminist positions, such that they cannot be conceived as something normatively identified with the world of women, but rather as matters requiring wide-ranging and urgent social debate. Doctoral thesis proposals may tackle the burning issues of the current social sphere, such as expressions of sexuality, the right to bodily autonomy, surrogacy, sex work, etc.

Dr Anna Clua Infante

Dr Núria Ferran

Àgora 

Access to public information. Analysis of the impact of Spain's Law on Transparency on journalists' work and the public's right to information

A proposal for studying the limitations and inequalities shown by public requests for information by citizens and the public administrations. 

Transparency must help governments become less corrupt, more efficient, more democratic and, hence, legitimized. The right to know what a government is doing is essential for democracies and analysis of the responses for information requests provided by the administration to journalists and the general public is key to understanding how implementation of the Law on Transparency is working.

The Law on Transparency should guarantee everyone the right to information: is it working? 

What impact has the Law had on the profession of journalism? Is more investigative and data journalism being carried out?

What difficulties are being faced by the administrations in complying with transparency requirements? 

Is the process of exercising the right to obtain public information complying with the principles of usability and accessibility? 

Is the data provided complying with the principles of open government?

Dr Anna Clua Infante

Dr Núria Ferran

Àgora 

Participation and public communication

The emergence and development of the digital world has encouraged the opening up of public communication to citizens. The opportunities for participation and interaction have increased exponentially, as has the exposure to content created by fellow users. Their content and their opinions can now be shared and reach far beyond their immediate surroundings, and they may even participate in global conversations whose interlocutors do not know one another but take part with messages organized and displayed around the same theme. Journalism and the media have also incorporated user participation, meaning that users may take part in, amongst other things, the drawing up of an article, its distribution and/or the interpretation of its content.

All of this has an impact upon trends in the active citizens' understanding and seeing the issues that are of interest to different groups and the ways in which they react and/or act.

Dr Silvia Martínez 

Dr Daniel Aranda

GAME

Social media in the communication ecosystem

Social media are currently highly popular, in terms of the numbers of both platforms and the users on them. Their strategic use by different fields and sectors makes research into the subject vital for understanding this constantly-evolving environment. 

This line of research may include studies on the perception and guidelines for usage and communicative and informational consumption, new narratives and formats, communication plans, the relationship with the media and communication ecosystem, interactions, the role of users and contact networks, new trends and challenges in social media communication.

Dr Silvia Martínez  GAME

Communication and information from a gender perspective

A gender perspective has become of particular importance from both a professional and an academic standpoint in recent years. The field of communication and information has not been immune to this interest, with regard to both the analysis of communication actions in gender terms, to understand current practices, their impact and the options for improvement, as well as demands for and defence of equality. 

Research themes that fall within this line include but are not limited to:

  • The treatment of gender violence in the news 
  • The presence of sexist microaggressions in the media
  • The reproduction of stereotypes in advertising
  • Social networks and online communities in defence of gender equality
  • The presence and role of women in film
  • Inequality in senior management, company representation and communication department positions
  • Discrimination and hate speech with regard to gender issues on social media
  • Inclusive communication in the media ecosystem.

Dr Silvia Martínez 

Dr Sílvia Sivera

Dr Candela Ollé

GAME

The transformation of contemporary communication practices, focusing on the analysis of cultural models that are specific to the knowledge society

The GAME research group is interested in studying the transformation of contemporary communication practices, focusing on the analysis of cultural models that are specific to the knowledge society.

  • The role of entertainment and its consumption as a basic part of emergent models of collaborative and participative cultures that are characteristic of the knowledge society.
  • The role of digital games in current society.
  • The analysis of emergent digital and audiovisual literacy patterns and needs.
  • The opening of lines of inquiry and experimentation in learning environments and processes based on collaboration, creativity, entertainment and use of audiovisual technologies.
  • The transformation of specific forms of communication – journalism, audiovisual, advertising, public relations, social media – in today's society.
  • Innovation and creativity in media and entertainment

Dr Jordi Sánchez-Navarro

Dr Daniel Aranda

Dr Ferran Lalueza

Dr Sandra Sanz-Martos

Dr Mireia Montaña

Dr Elisenda Estanyol

Dr Judith Clares

Dr Silvia Martínez 

GAME

Contemporary film and digital audiovisual studies

 Description of the thesis proposal. Proposals for studying phenomena associated with the world of film and related narrative visual arts (documentary, serialized fiction, transmedia storytelling, etc), which, from a formal, historic, broadcasting or consumption standpoint, help secure a better understanding of the changes and continuities experienced by the audiovisual world.

Dr Antoni Roig MEDIACCIONS

Communication and Digital Culture

We focus on the study of social transformation and cultural practices related to digital technologies and media.

  1. Digital culture and social media in everyday life.
  2. Creativity, transmedia storytelling and participatory culture.
  3. Design, technology and activism.
  4. Creative industries and urban laboratories.

Dr Elisenda Ardèvol (Digital Anthropology)

Dr Gemma San Cornelio (Media Studies/Design)

Dr Antoni Roig (Media Studies)

Dr Efrain Foglia (Design/Communication)

MEDIACCIONS

Specialized communication: linguistic strategies to foster understanding of specialized texts 

Communication between specialists in a field and non-expert recipients has always been a complex issue not without its problems. The cognitive domains of the two interlocutors are different and the originator must be able to adapt his or her discourse to make it understandable to the non-specialist recipient. 

With this research subject, the idea is to analyse, from a linguistics perspective, the factors that specialists need to bear in mind when drawing up texts written from their specialist field but aimed at non-experts. The goal is to detect those linguistic strategies that need to be implemented to avoid problems of understanding that hinder effective communication. Although the study is from a linguistics perspective, it also takes into account the cognitive dimension of specialized communication. 

The specialist fields proposed for the research are those of law and medicine, given that it is vital that recipients have a good understanding of the texts they receive in these fields. Nevertheless, it may be possible to agree to work on other specialist fields.

Dr Ona Domènech Bagaria  

Professional career and professional identity in media industries

The present proposal invites PhD candidates interested in exploring changes in professional career and professional identity in an increasingly globalized, co-creative and delocalized media industry. Candidates are invited to explore, among other topics:

  • Emerging professional practices in media industries
  • Organizational culture of media industries
  • Professional careers and professional identity in media Industries
  • Creation, co-creation and knowledge share in media industries
  • Gender perspective on the study of professional careers in media industries
Dr Amalia Creus KIMO