Gender, communication and inequality studies


Research Proposal 2. Gender, communication and inequality studies


Research Group

Gendered factors shaping young people's motivations to choose ict and stem studies and occupations.
The study of the development of gendered aspirations in STEM across secondary school years and the transition to higher education has been the scope of vast international research under the framework of the expectancy-value (EV) theory of achievement motivation. Similarly, many efforts have been conducted in the US and other international contexts to encourage the participation of girls in STEM, inspired by this EV theory and other theoretical frameworks, such as the stereotype threat theory, or the role and goal congruity theory.







The development of gender roles and stereotypes about ict and stem occupations during childhood and adolescence. 
Young females do not choose STEM studies because they do not identify with the prototypical masculine stereotype frequently associated with STEM professionals. Knowing more about the content of gender stereotypes about STEM studies and occupations can provide inspiration for interventions oriented to challenge these stereotypes and their prescriptive role. The main goal of this research line is to therefore analyze the main developmental socialization factors that contribute to the formation of gender stereotypes about STEM professions during childhood and adolescence.





The gender digital divide.

The study of the gender digital divide faces new challenges due to the persistence of inequalities in terms of Internet access, but also with regards to digital skills, uses, and the design of technologies. ICTs can empower women’s opportunities to reverse inequalities and show the importance of including women’s talent in the design of ICT services and products that provide solutions to societal challenges like the ones associated to the current health crisis. From a mutual shaping of technology and society theoretical approach, it is necessary to examine women and men as consumers of digital devices and contents, but also as producers of these technologies.



Dr. Sergi Fàbregues






Gender diversity and science of team science.

The “Science of Team Science” brings together a variety of disciplines addressing the conditions of collaborative knowledge production. The question how gender diversity affects scientific collaboration is key in this respect. Current developments strive to integrate a more dynamic view on team processes. Recent methodological (time-based social network analysis) as well as technical developments (sensor/video based monitoring and automatic labelling) allow exciting new questions to be posed regarding the impact of gender diversity on team processes.


Dr. Jörg Müller


Dr. Julio Meneses





Gender bias and behavioral tracking.

Behavioral tracking technology (video but also sensor based) is increasingly prevalent across a variety of societal contexts, including security sector, medical and fitness devices but also Human Resource management. This research line aims at a critical examination of the use and misuses of behavioral tracking technology and its gendered implications. Behavioral tracking, when combined with artificial intelligence decision making can perpetuate gender-bias but also open up new and exciting research questions regarding gender patterns of social behavior.


Dr. Jörg Müller


Dr. Julio Meneses





Institutional change for inclusive gender equality in research and innovation.

Our goal is to understand those factors that promote the effective design and implementation of inclusive gender equality interventions in research performing and research funding organizations as well as higher education institutions and the private sector. Interventions may take the form of a Gender Equality Plan, or Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Interventions- from an intersectional approach, amongst others. Analysis centers on the processes and outcomes of each phase of the intervention, from the design phase, to implementation, and outcomes whilst relevant context factors are taken into consideration. The main challenge is to understand how to make research more inclusive and diverse as well as produce better quality knowledge and innovations that respond to diverse needs.  We also examine how to demonstrate real change through monitoring and evaluation of the change process.



Dr. Rachel Palmén




Hate speech and the digital public sphere.
Communication strategies that pursue defamatory, humiliating, denial of rights, or a clear apology for violence are penalized by law. However, its dissemination through digital communication spaces and, above all, social networks have benefited from a lack of regulation that, consequently, has led to an increase in "hate speakers" protected by anonymity and impunity. 
The objective of this line of research is to deepen the contextual analysis of the appearance and dissemination of hate speech in the digital public sphere, as well as the tools and strategies aimed at making visible and denouncing the attacks that take place in the media and on social media.
This proposal may include topics of interest such as:
  • Anti-gender, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic discourses.
  • Research Methodologies (critical analysis of multimodal discourse).
  • Hate speech on the journalistic, citizen, and political agendas.




Dr. Anna Clua





Digitalisation at work.
Our goal is to analyse the impact of digital transformations on the world of work.
We are interested in analysing the effects of the processes of automation, robotisation, artificial intelligence, etc. on the world of work. Specifically, in the inequalities that may be generated between highly and less skilled workers or gender inequalities as a result of the fact that the most digitally complex jobs will be dominated by men.
We are also interested in the analysis of  Telework and its psychosocial, organisational and cultural effects. Telework is consolidating as an increasingly widely used modality of work. We are interested in analysing each and every one of its dimensions, especially the gender differences in its use, as well as the different mechanisms that organisations use to organise, monitor and control teleworkers and the resulting effects. 

New employment models.

Our goal is to analyse the new labour models characterised by labour flexibility, digitalisation and precariousness and their relationship with social and gender inequalities. The gig economy, also known as the on-demand or platform economy, are examples of these new models. We are interested in analysing how they affect the life projects of workers, as well as how people immersed in processes of precariousness perceive and define this situation and how this experience constructs new forms of identity and new ways of living.


Work-Life Balance.

We analyse how gender roles, the models of work-life balance that prevail in our society and work organisation shape the different strategies and ways that people develop to reconcile the different spheres of their lives. In this sense, we focus on the cultural and psychosocial effects.

Diversity and inequality studies.
The present proposal invites PhD candidates interested in exploring the multiple dimensions and interrelations of diversity and inequality - including the processes of visibility and invisibility, inclusion and social exclusion - and how they are shaped in the contemporary dynamics in three main àreas: education, communication and urbanism. Candidates are invited to explore, among other topics:
  • Discursive and visual representations of difference and diversity.
  • Gender and communication.
  • Emerging literacies and social inclusion.
  • Critical pedagogy and inclusiveness.
  • Urban spaces, equality and representation.



Dr. Amalia Susana Creus