RN18 - Sociology of Communications and Media Research

Term: September 1, 2015 – August 31, 2017

Co-Chairs
Romina Surugiu, University of Bucharest, Romania, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Roy Panagiotopoulou, University of Athens, Greece, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Honorary Chair
Peter Golding, Northumbria University, UK, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vice-Chair
Marisol Sandoval, City University London, UK, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Board Members
Adem Yesilyurt, Middle East Technical University/Kocaeli University, Turkey,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Christian Fuchs, University of Westminster, UK, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Ergin Bulut, Koc University, Turkey, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
George Pleios, University of Athens, Greece, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Magdalena Kania Lundholm, Uppsala University, Sweden,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Paško Bilić, Institute for Development and International Relations, Croatia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Paulo Alves, ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Peter Ludes, Jacobs University, Germany, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Raluca Petre, Ovidius University of Constanta, Romania,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Reggina Zervou, Ministry of Education, Greece, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sebastian Sevignani, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Thomas Allmer, University of Edinburgh, UK, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Yuqi Na, University of Westminster, UK, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   


Click here to read the biennial report 2013-2015 of RN18

Click here to read the biennial report 2011-2013 of RN18

Click here to read the biennial report 2009-2011 of RN18


 European Sociological Association (ESA) - Research Network 18: Sociology of Communications and Media Research in cooperation with:

ISCTE IUL - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa
DINAMIA’CET - Centre for Socioeconomic and Territorial Studies
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
ICUB - Institutul de Cercetări al Universității din București/Research Institute of University of Bucharest

Rethinking Power in Communicative Capitalism
Critical Perspectives on Media, Culture and Society

ESA RN18 Mid-Term Conference 2016
ISCTE – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Lisbon
September 8-10, 2016

Keynote Speakers
Jodi Dean (Hobart and William Smith Colleges, NY, USA):
Communicative capitalism and class struggle

Christian Fuchs (University of Westminster, UK):
Karl Marx and communicative capitalism


Important dates:
Abstract submission deadline: May, 15, 2016
Notification of selected abstracts: June, 10, 2016
Conference dates: September 8-10, 2016

The registration details and the online registration form: DINÂMIA’CET-IUL website (http://dinamiacet.iscte-iul.pt/).

Call for Papers

Rethinking Power in Communicative Capitalism
Critical Perspectives on Media, Culture and Society

The proliferation of digital media in the 21st century has once again shown the deeply ambivalent and contradictory potentials of technological development.

Digital technologies have been celebrated for enabling new levels of democratic communication, participatory media production, community building and media activism. From Wikipedia, to open source programming, open access publishing, and peer-to-peer file sharing, we have witnessed the rise of a range of alternative forms of communication and media production that seemed to challenge established media business models and momentarily contested corporate power.

However, far from decreasing the dominance of corporate media, the expansion of digital culture, the Internet and social media further strengthened the power of multinational corporations over media culture and human communication. Despite the rhetoric of ‘social’ media, sharing, community and collaboration, the majority of the digital media sphere remains privately owned and controlled. In this corporate media system, multinational corporations maintain almost exclusive control over large parts of the media and communication technology, infrastructure and content.

Power in communicative capitalism is uneven and corporate control confronts us with a range of problems such as the systematic surveillance of Internet users, an increasingly commercialised online environment, devastating environmental impacts of the production and usage of media technologies and the global exploitation of digital labour. (Digital) media technologies are deeply entangled with the on-going economic, social, environmental and political crises.

Mobilising the empowering qualities of digital technologies and their potential to contribute to progressive social change requires an effective critique of corporate dominance, challenging power inequalities and strengthening radical alternatives.

This conference invites contributions that offer a critical analysis of corporate media culture and alternatives to it and thus contribute to rethinking power in communicative capitalism.

Questions that can be addressed include, but are not limited to the following ones:

- Theorizing communicative capitalism
How does power work in communicative capitalism, how can it be theorised and rethought?

- Ideology in communicative capitalism
What are the main forms of ideology in communicative capitalism and how do they operate in the media? Which forms and approaches of ideology critique do we need to understand them? How are contemporary right-wing extremist, far-right populist, fascist, neoliberal, patriarchal, racist, anti-socialist, pro-capitalist and religious ideologies expressed on the Internet and social media and what are the ways of expressing their petitions for challenging them?

- The environmental impact of communicative capitalism
What are the environmental impacts of the production of media and communication technologies along global supply chains? What are the environmental impacts of media usage and ‘cloud computing’? What are key drivers of negative environmental impacts and how can they be confronted?

- Labour in communicative capitalism
How does exploitation and alienation work in communicative capitalism? What is the relation between various forms of digital labour? How do working conditions look like in the global production of media and communication technologies? What are the limits and potentials of a global solidary labour movement in communicative capitalism? How can we best think of the relation between work and communication, labour and profit, the economy and culture? How do we have to rethink or even revise the concepts of the “base” and the “superstructure”?

- Marxism and communicative capitalism
What is the role, importance and legacy of Karl Marx’s works and Marxist theory in the age of communicative capitalism?

- Gender and sexuality in communicative capitalism
What is the role of and relationship of identity politics and anti-capitalism for feminist media sociology today?

- Global perspectives on communicative capitalism
What global power inequalities and asymmetries shape communicative capitalism?

- Communicative capitalism and the public sphere
How can we best theorise and understand potentials and limits for the mediated public sphere in communicative capitalism?

- Media and communicative capitalism
How have the media changed in recent years? Are there scopes beyond the capitalist media? How can we best use critical/Marxist political economy and other critical approaches for understanding the media today? What is the role of media and communication technologies in the acceleration and globalization of the capitalist economy? What are the conditions of working in the media, cultural and communication industries in the contemporary times? Who owns the media and ICTs? What are specific characteristics of knowledge and the media as property?

- Resisting communicative capitalism
What are strategies for left politics to effectively resist and challenge communicative capitalism? What is the role of media activisms today? And the relation between the street activism and the media activism (“Tweets and the streets”…)? And how the unions and other kind of non-governmental associations use the media? How their uses differ from the uses made by the newly social movements? Which are the opportunities and the limits of media activisms?

- Alternatives to communicative capitalism
What are the problems and post-capitalist potentials of alternative projects such as cultural and media co-operatives, left-wing and radical media projects, alternative social media, alternative online platforms, alternative media, community media projects, commons-based media, peer production projects, etc.?

- Communicative capitalism and the common
What are the potentials or the common to challenge and offer an alternative to communicative capitalism? How can the threat of co-optation be resisted?

- Communicative capitalism and state power
How does the relationship of media, communication and state power influence the various forms of regulation, control, repression, violence and surveillance?


Abstract submission

Submission deadline for abstracts: May, 15, 2016.

An abstract should be sent to:
Dr. Romina Surugiu (University of Bucharest) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ,
Dr. Roy Panagiotopoulou (University of Athens) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ,
and Dr. Marisol Sandoval (City University London) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abstracts should be sent as e-mail attachment (250-400 words abstract, title, author name(s), email address, institutional affiliations). Please insert the words “ESARN18 submission” in the subject.

Conference fees

80 Euros for ESA RN18 members / 100 Euros for non ESA RN18 members (conference dinner included)
60 Euros for ESA RN18 members / 80 Euros for non ESA RN18 members (without conference dinner)
25 Euros for students (Bachelor and Master) (without conference dinner) / 45 Euros (conference dinner included)

The registration details, including the online registration form, will be soon available on the DINÂMIA’CET-IUL website (http://dinamiacet.iscte-iul.pt/).

You can become a member of ESA RN18 by joining the ESA and subscribing to the network. The network needs material support, so we encourage you to join or renew your membership. The network subscription fee is only 10 Euros:
http://www.europeansociology.org/member/

Participation support for 4 PhD students and/or independent researchers will be available. This will not cover all costs, but part of them (accommodation and full conference fee). Preference will be given to presentations that suit the overall conference topic.

If you want to apply for participation support, please indicate this in your abstract submission by adding the sentence “I want to apply for participation support for PhD students and/or independent researchers”. The notifications about participation support will be sent out together with the notifications of acceptance or rejection of presentations. Additional information to prove your condition as PhD student or independent researcher will be requested.

Conference venue

The conference will be hosted by ISCTE- University Institute of Lisbon (http://www.iscte-iul.pt/en/home.aspx)

ISCTE-IUL is located at Av das Forças Armadas, 1649-026 Lisbon, Portugal (http://iscte-iul.pt/en/quem_somos/localizacao.aspx)

The organisation will be carried on by DINÂMIA’CET-IUL (http://dinamiacet.iscte-iul.pt/).
The local organising committee is led by Professor Paulo Marques Alves, Assistant Professor at ISCTE-IUL and researcher at DINÂMIA’CET-IUL.

The RN18 organising committee is led by Dr. Romina Surugiu, University of Bucharest and Dr. Marisol Sandoval, City University London.

ISCTE- Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL) is a research university with a multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approach, mainly in the areas of Sociology and Public Policy, Social Sciences and Humanities, Management and Economics, Information and Communication Technologies and Architecture, established in 1972. The University has approximately 9 000 students enrolled in undergraduate (52%) and postgraduate (48%) programs, 450 teachers, 220 non-teaching staff and more than 500 researchers. The Institution has a strong link to and impact on science, economy and society and has established national and international cooperation with a large number of universities and research institutes as well as public, private and third sector organizations and has been participating in several international European funded projects, research programs and networks of scientific cooperation.

DINÂMIA'CET-IUL- Centre for Socioeconomic and Territorial Studies (D’C) is an ISCTE-IUL research unit, evaluated as Very Good. D’C conducts research and graduate teaching (3 PhD Programmes, 10 Master Programmes) on current social, economic and territorial issues from a multi-disciplinary and comparative perspective, in national, European and broader contexts. DINÂMIA’CET-IUL is a medium sized research centre, that currently involves over 100 researchers, including around 50 PhDs, with diverse disciplinary backgrounds (architecture, sociology, economics, law, anthropology, geography, quantitative methods and management). As its name indicates, DINÂMIA'CET focuses on the study of social, economic and territorial change with the aim of contributing to a better understanding of the contexts, processes, actors and consequences of change.

ICUB - Institutul de Cercetări al Universității din București is the main research institute of the University of Bucharest. Its aims are: to promote excellence in social research by means of intensified knowledge transfer and dissemination; to act as a research hub that ensures specialized consultancy in accesing research grants and funding through institutional partnerships; to become an active agent in designing and upgrading the research strategy of the University of Bucharest; to enhance both national and international research projects by means of organizing scientific events such as workshops, conferences and seminars; to support cooperation between researchers and research organizations; to design customized interventions for raising awareness and drive visibility and branding campaigns that promote research proficiency for young researchers; to support research contributions published in high-rank, top-tier publications; to develop, implement, monitor and assess exhange programs with the aid of visiting fellows. (http://socialsciences.icub.ro/)

Accommodation in Lisbon

Hotels nearby the conference venue

Hotel

stars*

Website

VIP Grand Lisboa

5

http://www.viphotels.com/pt/Hoteis/Vip-Grand-Lisboa/Sobre-Hotel.aspx

3K Europa

4

https://reservas.hotel3kbarcelona.pt/V8Client/StartBooking.aspx

Sana Metropolitan

4

http://www.metropolitan.sanahotels.com/

VIP Villa Rica

4

http://www.viphotels.com/pt/Hoteis/VIP-Executive-Villa-Rica/Sobre-Hotel.aspx

NH Campo Grande

4

http://www.nh-hoteles.pt/hotel/nh-lisboa-campo-grande

Holiday Inn Lisbon Continental

4

http://www.continentalhotels.eu/site/hotels/view/21.html

Turim Ibéria

4

http://www.turimiberiahotel.com  

VIP Inn Berna

3

http://www.viphotels.com/pt/Hoteis/VIP-Inn-Berna/Sobre-Hotel.aspx

Sana Executive

3

http://www.executive.sanahotels.com/

VIP Executive Zurique

3

http://www.viphotels.com/pt/Hoteis/VIP-Executive-Zurique/Sobre-Hotel.aspx

Alif

3

http://www.alifhotels.com/Alif-Hotels-Lisbon.aspx?lang=pt

Hostels – located in nice Baixa area, at bus/metro distance from the conference venue
Lisbon Hostel http://thisislisbonhostel.com/en/home/ 
NEXT Hostel http://www.hotelscombined.pt/Hotel/Next_Hostel.htm?gclid=CNfxnrvvusoCFWj3wgodJ8wBYg 
Lisb'on Hostel http://lisb-onhostel.com/pt/ 
Travellers House http://www.travellershouse.com/th/home.html




ESA 2015 - Call for Papers

Differences, Inequalities and the Sociological Imagination
12th Conference of the European Sociological Association
Prague, Czech Republic, 25 – 28 August 2015

RN18 - Sociology of Communications and Media Research

RN Coordinator: Prof. Christian Fuchs, University of Westminster, London, UK, christian.fuchs(at)uti.at

 


Critical Media Sociology Today

We live in times of ongoing crisis, the extension and intensification of inequalities concerning class, gender, and race, a return of the importance of the economy and political economy, a lack of imaginations of alternatives to neo-liberalism and capitalism, an intensification of right-wing extremism and fascism all over Europe, a lack of visions and power of the political Left, an intensification and extension of extremely repressive forms of state power such as communications surveillance conducted by secret services, ideological scapegoating conducted by conservative and far-right parties, and law and order-politics. Left-wing movements and parties have in some countries emerged or been strengthened, but the crisis has overall brought a further political shift towards the right and an intensification of capitalism and inequality.

We today require politically a renewal of the Left. For critical media sociology this means that it needs to ask questions, theorise, and conduct critical analysis of media and communications in the context of capitalism, class, ideologies, racism, fascism, right-wing extremism, gender, state power, activism and social movements, challenges for public service, media reforms, crisis, globalisation, the rise of China, digitalisation, consumer and advertising culture, information/cultural/media work, digital labour, the new international division of cultural and digital labour, warfare and military conflicts, the new imperialism, financialisation, etc.

ESA RN 18 calls for contributions that shed new light on questions that Critical Media Sociology needs to ask today and on theoretical and analytical insights that help to shape Critical Media Sociology in the 21st Century.

RN18’s panel at the ESA 2014 Prague Conference “Differences, Inequalities and contributions are organised in the form of specific session topics.

1. General session

2. Specific session titles

ESA RN18 calls for contributions to the following sessions:

RN18_1: Critical Media Sociology and Karl Marx Today:

What is the role and legacy of Karl Marx’s works and Marxist theory for critical media sociology today?

RN18_2: Critical Media Sociology and Capitalism Today:

How does capitalism shape media and communications today?

RN18_3: Critical Media Sociology and Critical Theory Today:

What is a critical theory of 21st century society? What role do communication, media and culture play in such a theory?

RN18_4: Critical Media Sociology and Stuart Hall Today:

How do Stuart Hall’s works, projects, and collaborations matter for critical media sociology today?

RN18_5: Critical Media Sociology and Cultural Materialism Today

How does Raymond Williams’ approach of cultural materialism matter today for understanding the sociology of media and communications?

RN18_6: Critical Media Sociology, Patriarchy and Gender Today:

What is the role of and relationship of identity politics and anti-capitalism for feminist media sociology today?

RN18_7: Critical Media Sociology and the Critique of the Political Economy of the Internet and Social Media

How does capitalism shape the Internet and social media?

RN18_8: Critical Media Sociology and Ideology Critique Today

What are the main forms of ideology today and how do they operate in the media? Which forms and approaches of ideology critique do we need to understand them?

RN18_9: Critical Media Sociology, Right-Wing Extremism and Fascism Today

What is the relationship of far-right movements and parties, the media and communication?

RN18_10: Critical Media Sociology and Digital Labour Today

What forms of digital labour and digital class struggles are there and how can they best be theorised, analysed, and understood?

RN18_11: Critical Media Sociology and the Left

How could a 21st century Left best look like and what is the role of media and communications for such a Left? What is the historical, contemporary, and possible future relationship of critical media sociology to the Left? What is the role of media, communications, the Internet, and social media in left-wing movements? What problems do such movements face in relation to the media, communications, the Internet, and social media?

RN18_12: Critical Media Sociology and China

How can critical media sociology understand the media in China and the role of China and Chinese media in global capitalism? What are differences and commonalities between European and Chinese media understood with the help of critical media sociology?

RN18_13: Critical Media Sociology and the Public Sphere Today

How can we best theorise and understand potentials and limits for the mediated public sphere in the 21st century?

RN18_14: Critical Media Sociology, the Commons, and the Alternatives Today

What are the problems and post-capitalist potentials of alternative projects such as cultural and media co-operatives, left-wing and radical media projects, alternative social media, alternative online platforms, alternative media, community media projects, commons-based media, peer production projects, etc.?

RN18_15: Critical Media Sociology and State Power Today

How does the relationship of media, communication and state power’s various forms of regulation, control, repression, violence and surveillance look like?

RN18_16: Critical Media Sociology, the University and Academia Today

What are the challenges and problems for teaching and conducting research about the media and communication from a critical perspective? What can be done to overcome existing limits and problems?
 

Notes for authors

Authors are invited to submit their abstract either to the general session or any specific session. Please submit only to one session. After abstract evaluation, coordinators will have the chance to transfer papers between sessions where applicable.

Abstracts should not exceed 250 words. Each paper session will have the duration of 1.5 hours. Normally sessions will include 4 papers.

Abstracts must be submitted online to the submission platform, see below. Abstracts sent by email cannot be accepted. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed and selected for presentation by the Research Network; the letter of notification will be sent by the conference software system in early April 2015.

Abstract submission deadline: 15th February 2015

Abstract submission platform: www.esa12thconference.eu 

If you have further questions on the conference, please visit the conference website. For further information on the Research Network, please visit www.europeansociology.org.

 


 

Media and Communication in and after the Global Capitalist Crisis: Renewal, Reform
or Revolution?
ESA RN18 Mid-Term Conference 2014

University of Bucharest, Romania
October 17-18, 2014

Call for Participation and Abstracts

European Sociological Association, Research Network 18: Sociology of Communications and Media Research
http://www.europeansociology.org/research-networks/rn18-sociology-of-communicationsand-media-research.html

Submission deadline for abstracts: July 1st, 2014. Submission per e-mail to
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abstracts should be written in a word processor, have 250-500 words, and contain title, author name(s), email address(es), institutional affiliations, the suggested presentation’s abstract.

The world has experienced a global crisis of capitalism that started in 2008 and is continuing until now. It has been accompanied by a crisis of the state and a general crisis of legitimation of dominant ideologies such as neoliberalism. Responses to the crisis have been variegated and have included austerity measures of the state that have hit the weakest, an increased presence of progressive protests, revolutions and strikes that have made use of digital, social and traditional media in various ways, the rise of far-right movements and parties in many parts of Europe and other parts of the world, the Greek state’s closing down of public service broadcaster ERT and increased commercial pressure on public service broadcasting in general, new debates about how to strengthen public service media, increased socio-economic and class inequality in many parts of the world and at a global level, precarious forms of work in general and in the media and cultural industries in particular, the emergence of new media reform movements, an extension and intensification of the crisis of newspapers and the print media, an increasing shift of advertising budgets to targeted ads on the Internet and along with this development the rise of commercial “social media” platforms, Edward Snowden’s revelations about the existence of a global surveillance-industrial complex that operates a communications surveillance system called “Prism” that involves the NSA and media companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo!, AOL, Skype, Apple and Paltalk; discussions about the power and freedom of the press in light of the Levenson inquiry, shifting geographies of the political and media landscape that have to do with the economic rise of countries such as China and India.

Given this context, the main questions that ESA RN18’s 2014 conference asks and to which it invites contributions are: How has the crisis affected the media and communication landscape in Europe and globally and what perspectives for the future of media and communications are there? What suggestions for media reforms are there? How feasible are they? What kind of media policies and reforms do we need today? Which ones should be avoided? Are we in this context likely to experience a renewal of neoliberalism or something different?

Plenary sessions:
1) Keynote Talk: Prof. Peter Ludes (Jacobs University Bremen, Germany): Wanted: Critical Visual Theories!
2) Special Session: Public Media and Alternative Journalism in Romania
With Dr. Raluca Petre (‘Ovidius’ University Constanta, Romania): On the Distinction between State and Public Media: Re-Centering Public Options; Dr. Antonio Momoc
(University of Bucharest, Romania): Alternative Media as Public Service Journalism; Costi Rogozanu (journalist and media activist, criticatac.ro) – Is Alternative Media an Alternative?

Call for Papers

ESA RN18 welcomes submissions of abstracts for contributions. Questions that can for example be addressed include, but are not limited to the following ones:

* Media and capitalism:
How have capitalism and the media changed in recent years? Are there perspectives beyond capitalism and capitalist media? How can we best use critical/Marxist political economy and other critical approaches for understanding the media and capitalism today? What is the role of media and communication technologies in the financialization, acceleration, and globalization of the capitalist economy? What are the conditions of working in the media, cultural and communication industries in the contemporary times? What is the role of Marx today for understanding crisis, change, capitalism, communication, and critique?

* Media reform and media policy in times of crisis:
How do the media need to be reformed and changed in order to contribute to the emergence of a good society? Which media reform movements are there and what are their goals? What have been policy ideas of how to overcome the crisis and deal with contemporary changes in relation to European media and communication industries? What can we learn from recent discussions about the media’s power and freedom, such as the Leveson inquiry? What are implications for media reforms?

* Media and the public sphere:
How should the concept of the public sphere best be conceived today and how does it relate to the media? How has the public sphere changed during the crisis in Europe and globally? What has been the relation between public and commercial broadcasting during and after the crisis? How have public service media changed, which threats and opportunities does it face? How can/should public service be renewed in the light of crisis, the Internet, and commercialisation? Can public service be extended from broadcasting to the online realm, digital and social media? What has been the role of public service media in Europe? How has this role transformed?

* Media and activism:
How can media scholars best cooperate with activists in order to contribute to a better media system and a better society? What are major trends in media activism today and how do activists use and confront the media and how do commercial, public and alternative media relate to contemporary social movements? What have been important experiences of media activists and media reform organisations in the past couple of years? What are the opportunities, risks, limits and possibilities of media activism today?
For answering these questions, we also invite contributions and submissions by media activists, who want to talk about and share their experiences.

* Media ownership:
Who owns the media and ICTs? What are peculiar characteristics of knowledge and the media as property? What conflicts and contradictions are associated with it and how have they developed in times of crisis? How concentrated are the media and ICTs and how has this concentration changed since the start of the 2008 crisis? How has media and ICT ownership, convergence, de-convergence and concentration developed since the start of the 2008 crisis? What reforms of media and ICT ownership are needed in light of the crisis of capitalism and the crisis of intellectual property rights?

* Media and crisis:
What have been the main consequences of the crisis for media and communication in various parts of the world and Europe from a comparative perspective? What role have the media played in the construction of the crisis? How have the media conveyed the social and economic crises of recent years to citizens and what are the consequences of this flow of ideas and explanations? What role can they play in overcoming the crisis? What is the relationship of the media and class during and after the crisis? What role have ideologies (such as racism, right-wing extremism, fascism, neoliberalism, anti-Semitism, etc) played in the media during the crisis and what can we learn from it for reforming the media? How have audiences interpreted media contents that focus on austerity, crisis, neoliberalism, protests, revolutions, or media reforms?

* The globalisation of the media and society:
What are major trends in the globalisation of capitalism, society and the media? Given the globalisation of media and society, what are challenges for media and society today? What can we learn from non-Western media scholars and media cultures outside of Europe? Are concepts such as cultural/media imperialism, transnational cultural domination or the new imperialism feasible today and if so, in which ways?

* Digital and social media:
What is digital labour and how has class changed in the context of social and digital media? What is the connection of value creation, knowledge labour and digital labour? How do the global dimension and the global division of digital labour look like, especially in respect to China, India, Asia and Africa? How do new forms of exploitation and unremunerated labour (“free labour”, “crowdsourcing”) look like in the media sector (e.g. in the context of Internet platforms such as Facebook or Google)? What is the relationship of the commons and commodification on digital and social media? How do capital accumulation and targeted advertising work on social media and what are their implications for users and citizens? What are alternatives to capitalist digital and social media? How can alternative social and digital
media best look like and be organized? What can in this context be the roles of the digital commons, civil society media and public service media? Which ideologies of the Internet and social media are there? How can we best understand the surveillance-industrial Internet complex operated by the NSA together with Internet corporations such as Google and Facebook and what are the implications of Edward Snowden’s revelations? How do power and political economy work in the context of platforms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WikiLeaks, Wikipedia, Weibo, LinkedIn, Blogspot/Blogger, Wordpress, VK, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, etc?

* Media and Critical Social Theory:
What can we learn and use from critical sociology and the sociology of critique when studying the media? What do critique and critical theory mean in contemporary times? What are critical sociology and the sociology of critique and what are its roles for studying media and communication’s role in society? Which social theories do we need today for adequately understanding media & society in a critical way? What is the role of political economy and Marx’s theory for understanding media & society today?

* Communication and (Post-)Crisis:
How has the crisis affected the communication landscape in Europe and globally and what perspectives for the future are there? How do the working conditions in communication industries look like after the crisis? What are the challenges for communication industries in the near future in the context of the crisis and post-crisis? What is the role of post-crisiscommunication industries in a globalised economy?

Keynote Talk:
Prof. Peter Ludes (Jacobs University Bremen, Germany):
Wanted: Critical Visual Theories!
Abstract

The “flows of messages and images,” are, according to Manuel Castells (1996: 508) the “basic thread of our social structure,” implying that “image-making is power-making” (ibid. 507). These visual networks, however, are however rarely the focus of research. This has even been the case in ESA’s Research Network 18 that focuses on media sociology. Castells himself did not pay particular attention to this thread in his later publications. More recently, Nye (2011: xiii) has specified that visual narratives contribute to “the public determination of legitimacy, good and evil – and the shaping of the preferences of one‘s opponents”. Visual information and communication technologies, forums, and formats are put to use in order to show or cover up social relations, which they pretend to unveil. Moreover, increasingly intelligent devices and national security agencies exceed by far the surveillance conducted by traditional webcams and CCTV. “Critical” visual theories, joining forces with whistleblowers and critical media professionals, should discover systematic neglects and hidings and allow for an ongoing critique of nationalism, power, exploitation, and manipulation. Fundamental criticism uncovering hidden visual patterns and strategies can offer alternatives to the more conventional text-bound study of social actions, processes, or structures. In particular, it is necessary to break out of partisan national or class views into a multicultural and multiperspective
mode of seeing, interpreting, and explaining.
This call for a (self-) critical visual turn in the sociology of communications and media research will, in part 1, offer examples for the continuity of highly biased national visual horizons in Brazil, China, Germany, and the U.S. Analyses of TV Centennial and Annual Reviews will compare dominant power and knowledge presentation patterns. The centennial reviews show a continuation of national priorities and perspectives and imply a perseverance of stereotypes that privilege very few countries, issues, and types of actors. The 20th century preponderance of soldiers and heads of state, all male, changed significantly during the past decade, especially after the global financial crisis since 2008. After an extreme focus on international politics and the "war on terror", the "irrationality of financial markets" and new types of knowledge and ignorance turned a little bit more (tele-) visible. Whether this presentation shift can be interpreted as a visual indicator of a power shift in favour of common people and a spurt in functional democratization is open to question.
Part 2 will zoom in on the systematic neglect of the most powerful global actors, networks, and corporations by visualizing public spheres. A recent Oxfam report (2014: 5) specified that: "one percent of the world’s families own almost half (46 percent) of the world’s wealth". Both, the few thousand families and corporations dominating world economy and the billions of people living and dying in relative poverty usually remain beyond journalistic scrutiny and sociological theories.
The concluding part will suggest a few key terms and theoretical strands for critical visual theories, emphasizing perspectives on long-term, international, usually hidden visual conventions and strategies.

References
Castells, Manuel. (1996) 2000. The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, vol. 1: The Rise of the Network Society. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.
Nye, Joseph S. 2011. The Future of Power. New York: Public Affairs.
Oxfam Briefing Paper (20 January 2014): "WORKING FOR THE FEW: Political capture and economic inequality." Oxfam: Oxfam House, Oxford, UK.

Biography:
Peter Ludes holds PhDs from the University of Trier (1978, thesis on Marx's Notion of a Classless Society) and Brandeis University (1983, thesis on Chances and Limits for Alternatives). He has held Visiting Positions at the University of Newfoundland, Canada (1981/82), the University of Amsterdam (1987), and a Research Fellowship at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University (1989). He was an Associate Professor for Culture and Media at the University of Siegen (1992-2002), for Media and Communication at the University of Mannheim (1994-96), and a Visiting Professor at the University of Constance (2001). He initiated the Project News
Enlightenment http://www.nachrichtenaufklaerung.de in 1997. From 1997 to 2008, he was the Deputy chair of the ESA Research Network ”Mass Media and Communications”, and from 2008 to 2011 he was, together with Roy Panagiotopoulou, the Co-Chair of the re-named ESA Research Network 18 "Sociology of Communications and Media Research". Since 2002 he has been a Professor of Mass Communication at Jacobs University Bremen, Germany. Since 2003 he has conducted research projects, together with the computer scientist Otthein Herzog, on the semi-automatic detection of key visuals in videos.
https://www.jacobs-university.de/directory/pludes
http://www.keyvisuals.org
https://www.jacobs-university.de/iss-program

Special Session: Public Media and Alternative Journalism in Romania
Speakers: Dr. Raluca Petre (‘Ovidius’ University Constanta, Romania) -On the Distinction between State and Public Media: Re-centering public options
Dr. Antonio Momoc (University of Bucharest, Romania) -Alternative media as public service journalism
Costi Rogozanu (Journalist and media activist, criticatac.ro) – Is alternative media an
alternative?
Abstract: In their presentations, the speakers will address the problem of public media and alternative journalism in Romania, in the context of the acute financial crisis and the loss of the credibility of the Romanian Public Service Television and Radio Networks.
Raluca Petre will introduce a discussion that has not really occurred in Romania after the fall of the authoritarian regime, namely the distinction between public and state media systems. Her argument is conceptually grounded in the classic Weberian distinction between authority and power. She argues that while a public media system is based on authority and consequently legitimate, a state media system is built on power, thus potentially discretionary.
The common element in the two cases is governmental spending and support. Nevertheless, while a public media system is built on a ‘bottom up’ logic, with public accountability running high, a state media system is constructed on a ‘top down’ logic, where public scrutiny is not really being considered. After 1989, the Central and Eastern European countries refuted the state media systems, but did not really reconsider a public media system as alternative in the early nineties. Meanwhile, in Western Europe, the legitimacy of public media systems was as well been questioned in the context of the new ethos of free market. The alternative at hand in CEE has been the commercial media system.
Antonio Momoc and Costi Rogozanu will reflect on how alternative media could replace public service in a time of distrust in the public radio and TV stations (which are suspected of being politically controlled, according to the reports of the media monitoring agencies). Their presentations will address the issue of alternative media as a new form of public service that can serve the citizens’ interest. To reach an answer, speakers will analyse the alternative media in Romania (Costi Rogozanu), as well as the social media and blogs of the public service representatives (Antonio Momoc).

Raluca Petre received her PhD in Sociology in 2009 from the Graduate School for Social Research, Polish Academy of Science, Warsaw. Her MA background is in Economy & Society, from CEU & Lancaster University, and her BA in Communication Sciences, from the University of Bucharest. In 2012, she published the book: Journalism in Times of Major Changes: Critical perspectives. Tritonic, Bucuresti.
Antonio Momoc, PhD in Sociology, 2009, University of Bucharest, MA in Political Studies, BA in Journalism and Political Studies. Antonio Momoc’s main research interests are in journalism, new media, political sciences and political communication.
http://www.antoniomomoc.ro/
Costi Rogozanu is a journalist and media activist. He has worked for the Romanian mainstream media for several years and is now one of the editors of the Romanian online publication criticatac.ro, focused on social, intellectual and political critique. He is author of “Carte de munca” (Work Book), Tact, 2013 and one of the editors of “Iluzia anticomunismului” (The Illusion of Anti-Communism), Cartier, 2008.

Submission

An abstract of 250-500 words should be sent to Prof. Christian Fuchs, University of Westminster; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Please insert the words “ESARN18 submission” in the subject. The deadline for abstract submission is July 1st, 2014.

A special session (‘Communication and (post)crisis’) will be organised in Romanian language (with Power Point presentation in English). However, the abstracts for this session will be submitted in English, as they are peer-reviewed by the scientific committee as well.

Conference Fee

For members of ESA RN18: 40 Euros
For non-members of ESA RN18: 60 Euros

The fee will be collected from the participants at the registration in Bucharest.
You can become a member of ESA RN18 by joining the ESA and subscribing to the network.
The network needs material support, so we encourage you to join or renew your membership.
The network subscription fee is only 10 Euros:
http://www.europeansociology.org/member/

Travel and accommodation support for a few PhD students will be available. This will not cover all costs, but part of them (accommodation, no travel costs). Preference will be given to PhD students, who submit an abstract in order to give a presentation at the conference that well suits the overall conference topic. Furthermore preference will be given to PhD students from lower income countries (band 2 countries, see http://www.europeansociology.org/member/). If you are a PhD student and want to apply for travel support, then please indicate this in your abstract submission by adding the sentence “I want to apply for travel and accommodation support”. The notifications about travel support will be sent out together with the notifications of acceptance or rejection of presentations.

Conference venue

Casa Universitarilor, Dionisie Lupu Street, no. 46, Bucharest
The conference venue is in the city centre of Bucharest, 5 min. walk from Piata Universitatii and Piata Romana.

The conference will take place in Bucharest, the capital city of Romania. Approximately 2 million inhabitants live in Bucharest. It is safe and hospitable and has many touristic attractions. For information on public transportation, sightseeing, and landmarks, please visit:
http://www.romaniatourism.com/bucharest.html#cityhighlights
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bucharest#Culture

Local organizer

The conference will be hosted by the University of Bucharest and its Faculty of Journalism and Communication Studies.

The University of Bucharest is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Romania, hence it bears the responsibility and the duty to be a pioneer and a model of academic integrity. This year, 2014 marks the anniversary of 150 years from the founding of the University of Bucharest. On 4/16 July 1864, Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza established the University of Bucharest by bringing together the Faculty of Law, Faculty of Letters and Philosophy, and the Faculty of Science.
The University of Bucharest offers numerous study programmes, from Bachelor degrees to Postdoctoral programmes, as well as lifelong learning programmes and Erasmus programmes.
In 2011, the University of Bucharest was declared the first university in advanced research and education in Romania, according to the classification of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports conducted with experts from the European University Association (EUA).
For more information, please visit: http://www.unibuc.ro

Founded in 1990, the Faculty of Journalism and Communication Studies (FJCS) is the leading higher education institution in the domains of Journalism and Communication Studies in Romania. FJCS is nationally and internationally known as an institution that offers professional training of the highest quality. Our alumni have a strong impact on the development of free media and professional PR & Advertising industry in Romania.

FJCS is member of the Theophraste Renaudot Network of Journalism Schools, of European Institute for Commercial Communication Education (EDCOM), and of Réseau Méditerranéen de Centres d`Etudes et de Formation (RMCEF). In 2012, the University of Bucharest appears in group 151-200 in two of the 29 major domains investigated: Communication and Media Studies, English Language and Literature, according to the overall ranking of universities achieved by Quacquarelli Symonds Limited.
For more information, please visit: http://www.fjsc.unibuc.ro

List of Accommodation Possibilities Recommended by the Local Host

Central Hotel, 13 Brezoianu St.
http://booknow.securehotelsreservations.com
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g294458-d309661-Reviews-Hotel_CentralBucharest.
html

Hotel Siqua, Calea Plevnei nr.59a
http://booking.hotelsiqua.ro/Book/BookingEngine.aspx
http://www.hotelsiqua.ro/

Hotel Cismigiu, 38, Regina Elisabeta Blvd.
http://www.cismigiuhotelbucharest.com

Hotel Venezia, 2 Pompiliu Eliade Street
http://booknow.securehotelsreservations.com
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g294458-d659646-Reviews-Hotel_VeneziaBucharest.
html

Tempo Hotel, 19, Armand Calinescu Street
http://booknow.securehotelsreservations.com
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g294458-d601712-Reviews-Tempo_HotelBucharest.
html

Hotel Triumf, Kiseleff 12th Street
http://hoteltriumf.ro

Hotel Berthelot, 9, Bulevardul Berthelot
http://www.hotelberthelot.ro

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