Communication, Capitalism and Social Change: Policy, Practice, Praxis

European Sociological Association (ESA) ‐ Research Network 18: Sociology of Communications and Media Research in cooperation with Croatian Sociological Association (HSD), Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO), Department of Sociology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (FFZG), University of Zagreb invites applications for the Communication, Capitalism and Social Change: Policy, Practice, Praxis ESA RN18 Mid-Term Conference 2018, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb, Croatia, September 6-8, 2018.

Keynote Speakers:

Natalie Fenton (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Fake Democracy, Digital Media: Reinventing our Democratic Futures?

Vincent Mosco (Queen’s University, Canada):

The Next Internet

Abstract submission deadline: 1 April

Notification of selected abstracts: 15 May

Conference dates: September 6-8, 2018

Communication is essential to society. There are no social relations without communication, and communication is the key for the intersubjective understanding of humans. Communication is embedded within relations of production in digital capitalism. It is increasingly commodified in digital networks while political radicalism finds new support in right-wing populism. Open, democratic communication is much needed in times of increasing radicalisation of human existence in conservative discourses and confines of consumer logic.

Non-regulated markets, radical politics and corporate technologies distort the social foundations of critical reason, and common-sense. Legacy media, automated systems, fake news, market failures, and global monopolies of key internet services systematically distort the inter-subjective potential of communication.

Burning social issues such as rising inequality, poverty, migration, and climate change cannot be tackled without a common understanding of the main challenges facing humanity. While global networks offer the potential for human liberation, we are witnessing a familiar pattern in which political and economic elites take over the means of communication and common understanding.

What is to be done remains an open question. Supposedly value-neutral media policies often end up proposing administrative adjustments to communication systems, cater to the existing structures, and offer only minor adaptations of the regulatory framework. The key is to break the cycle in which such reforms perpetuate the fundamentally flawed social system.

Systemic tendencies of global capitalism towards creating monopolies, destroying natural resources, increasing inequality, spreading racism and xenophobia are well established. Yet moving from the accumulated critical knowledge towards an actual social change is no easy task. The demand for a better society, and a move from theory to action is a thorny political issue.

Open, democratic communication is the starting point for any meaningful societal change. Such a situation makes it increasingly important to revisit the critical ideas of democratic rationalization within policy and the philosophy of praxis.

The ESA mid-term conference is particularly interested in, but not limited to, the following questions:

Theorizing communication and social change

What theories help us to explain communication and social change? What is the role of the philosophy of praxis in establishing a more just and equal society? What are the current and ‘forgotten’ theoretical approaches that can be of use for us today?

Market failures

Why and how do markets fail to provide positive externalities and public goods? Why do commons-based projects become increasingly commodified? What is the role of intellectual property rights in digital capitalism?

Policy failures

What kind of policies regarding communication and the media prevail today? Why do policies fail to promote the establishment of a more just and equal society? What is the future of media policy for bringing social change?

Media frames of key social issues

How are social inequality, poverty, migration, climate change and other issues framed by the media? How do key actors communicate through the media? What are the obstacles and barriers of mediated representations for bringing social change?

Ideological discourses

What are the main obstacles for democratic communication? How is communication distorted by ideological, conservative and nationalist discourses in contemporary society? What is the role of automated systems and algorithms?

Digitized workspaces

How is communication turned into labour? What is the role of global supply chains for digitized work environments? What are the main tensions, contradictions and struggles in digitized work relations?

Alternatives and social movements

Who are the potential actors promoting democratic communication? How is social change in general demanded by the current media development and how by social movements, NGOs and community media with the use of ICTs? What are the main global and local demands for social change?

 Abstract submission

Abstract submission deadline: 1 April

Notification of selected abstracts: 15 May

Conference dates: September 6-8, 2018

Abstracts should be sent to:

Dr Roy Panagiotopoulou (University of Athens, Greece)

Dr Thomas Allmer (University of Stirling, UK)

Abstracts should be sent as e-mail attachment (250-300 words including title, author name(s), email address, and 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 registration form, will be available on the conference website in May 2018.

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:

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 send an extended abstract (300 – 400 words), biographical information (up to 250 words) and indicate this in your abstract submission by adding the sentence “I want to apply for participation support for PhD students / 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 position as a PhD student or independent researcher will be requested.

Conference venue

The conference will be hosted by the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Zagreb. The Faculty is located at Ivana Lučića 3, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia. The event is co-organized by the Croatian Sociological Association (HSD), Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO) and the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb (FFZG).

The ESA RN18 organising committee is led by

Dr Roy Panagiotopoulou, Coordinator of ESA RN-18, University of Athens

Dr Romina Surugiu, Coordinator of ESA RN-18, University of Bucharest

Dr Thomas Allmer, Co-coordinator of ESA RN-18, University of Stirling

Dr Marisol Sandoval, Co-coordinator of ESA RN-18, City University of London

The local organising committee includes:

Dr Paško Bilić, Chair of the organisational board, Department for Culture and Communication, Institute for Development and International Relations

Dr Kruno Kardov, Chair of the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Zagreb

Dr Jasminka Lažnjak, President, Croatian Sociological Association

Dr Helena Popović, Department of Journalism, Faculty of Political Science. University of Zagreb

Dr Jaka Primorac, Department for Culture and Communication, Institute for Development and International Relations

European Sociological Association (ESA) Research Network 18: Sociology of Communications and Media Research provides a platform for critical research and debate on questions of power, inequality, identity and social change in increasingly mediatized societies. Key research areas include but are not limited to the Internet, digital and social media, alternative media, media and protest, journalism, media and capitalism, media work, ideology and media discourse, media and gender, global media, public sphere, political communication, theories of media and communication, media policy, media industries, ownership and power.

HSD – Croatian Sociological Association is the professional non-profit association of sociologists of around 300 members, founded in 1959 as Sociological Association of Croatia. The association’s current name dates from 1992, when the association became a member of the International Sociological Association. It is also a member of the European Sociological Association. Currently, the Croatian Sociological Association has eleven specialised sections covering broad areas and social domains and has been publishing the scientific journal Sociological Review since 1971. Sociology as an academic discipline has a long tradition in Zagreb. The first chair for criminal studies and sociology was established in 1906 at the Faculty of Law as the first sociology chair in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. In 2018 the Association celebrates the centenary of the first Sociological Society Zagreb that was founded in 1918 and active until 1932.

IRMO – Institute for Development and International Relations was founded by the University of Zagreb and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in 1963 as the Africa Research Institute. Its research focus evolved from the study of post-colonial Africa, through the developing countries of Asia and Latin America and finally towards the global development processes. Currently, the Institute is organized into four departments: Department for International Economic and Political Relations, Department for European Integration, Department for Resource Economics, Environmental Protection and Regional Development, and the Department for Culture and Communication. Within its interdisciplinary approach, the Department for Culture and Communication studies social, political and economic underpinnings of digital culture, digital networks, cultural and media industries, cultural and media policies, and other areas.

Department of Sociology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb was founde on the initiative of Rudi Supek in 1963. Today the Department of Sociology is one of the leading institutions in Croatia in development and transmission of evidence-based knowledge of Croatian society and social processes in the region. The Department consists of eleven subject area divisions with a strong research tradition in the areas of sociology of sexuality, military and war, quantitative methodology, and urban and migration studies. Current research orientation of the Department covers the area of inequality, socio-demography, security and digital transformation.

See conference website for more details:



Repertoari političke informiranosti i politička participacija u medijskom okolišu visokog izbora

Sekcija za sociologiju medija Hrvatskog sociološkog društva (HSD) najavljuje predavanje Dine Vozab sa Fakulteta političkih znanosti u Zagrebu. Predavanje će se održati 13.11. (ponedjeljak) u knjižnici Instituta za razvoj i međunarodne odnose (Vukotinovićeva 2) s početkom u 17:30 sati.

Nastavi čitati

Čovjek je osnovna vrijednost: razgovor o komunikaciji, tehnologiji i društvenoj promjeni s Matkom Meštrovićem

Matko Meštrović je emeritus na Ekonomskom institutu u Zagrebu. Temeljno je obrazovanje stekao u području povijesti umjetnosti a karijeru mu je obilježio široki interes za teme iz područja kritičke teorije, umjetnosti, kulture i dizajna te komunikacije i medijskih tehnologija. Početkom 1960-ih bio je jedan od osnivača i vodećih figura likovnog pokreta Nove Tendencije. U istom je razdoblju djelovao u Centru za industrijsko oblikovanje u Zagrebu. Tijekom 1969. i 1970. boravio je kao gostujući istraživač na Sveučilištima Columbia, UCLA (Odjel za umjetnosti i dizajn te Odjel za novinarstvo), MIT (Centar za napredne vizualne studije) i Pennsylvania (Annenberg School of Communication). Radio je kao savjetnik na Radio-televiziji Zagreb od 1970. do 1987. Bio je direktor Zavoda za kulturu Hrvatske od 1987. do 1992. Od 1993. je znastveni savjetnik na Ekonomskom institutu u Zagrebu.

Nastavi čitati

Diskusija ˝Mediji i politika izbjegličke krize na Balkanskoj ruti˝

Sekcija za sociologiju medija Hrvatskog sociološkog društva organizira diskusiju ˝Mediji i politika izbjegličke krize na Balkanskoj ruti˝. Diskusija će se održati u knjižnici Bogdana Ogrizovića 6. listopada 2016. s početkom u 17:00 sati. Izlagači su dr. sc. Senada Šelo Šabić sa Odjela za međunarodne ekonomske i političke odnose Instituta za razvoj i međunarodne odnose u Zagrebu, dr. sc. Drago Župarić-Iljić sa Instituta za migracije i narodnosti, te Paško Bilić sa Odjela za kulturu i komunikacije Instituta za razvoj i međunarodne odnose u Zagrebu.

Nastavi čitati

Mediji na kvadrat: mrežna mobilizacija društvenog nezadovoljstva

Suvremene se medijske panorame mogu svesti pod zajednički nazivnik nepregledanog broja komunikacijskih kanala i vidljivosti različitih stajališta i mišljenja u digitalnoj javnoj sferi. Ti se trendovi često ističu kao izraz demokratizacije uzrokovane internetom. Međutim, oni se trebaju promatrati uz veliko zrno soli. Naime, broj komunikacijskih kanala ne znači i veći broj demokratski usmjerenih glasova jer se, u ekonomskom smislu, zamjećuje konsolidacija medijskih kompanija na digitalnim tržištima. Također se može govoriti o dominaciji globalnih igrača poput mrežnog pretraživača Google ili servisa za društvene mreže Facebook. Google je u 2015. godini ostvario prihod od 75 milijardi američkih dolara, a Facebook 18 milijardi američkih dolara. Mrežni mediji istovremeno podliježu sustavima državnog nadzora i kontrole. Međutim, medijske su tehnologije u konačnici samo alati čija društvena svrha tek treba biti ostvarena. Društvena se svrha kanalizira i mijenja pod utjecajem istih medija, te se na taj način ostvaruje artikulacija različitih interesa, vrijednosti i stajališta društvenih skupina. Njihov demokratski potencijal, dakle, leži u mogućnosti promicanja vidljivosti određenih društvenih tema te u mogućnosti mobilizacije i brze razmjene informacija društvenim mrežama.

Nastavi čitati

Preispitivanje vrijednosti i kreativne autonomije u otvorenoj kulturnoj proizvodnji: slučaj filmske animacije otvorenog izvora

Sekcija za sociologiju medija Hrvatskog sociološkog društva (HSD) i Multimedijalni institut (MI2) najavljuju predavanje Julije Velkove sa Sveučilišta Södertörn u Švedskoj. Predavanje će se održati u prostorijama Multimedijalnog instituta (Preradovićeva 18, Zagreb) 15. siječnja 2016. s početkom u 18,00 sati. Predavanje će se održati na engleskom jeziku.

Nastavi čitati

Choosing Paradigms through Emotions: An Interview with Nico Carpentier

Nico Carpentier is Professor at the Department of Informatics and Media, Uppsala University in Sweden. He also holds two part-time positions: Associate Professor at the Communication Studies Department of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium and Docent at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. Moreover, he is a Research Fellow at Loughborough University, United Kingdom and Cyprus University of Technology. He is an executive board member of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR). Between 2008 and 2012 he was vice-president of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA). His theoretical focus is discourse theory, and his research interests are the relationship between media, journalism, politics and culture, especially in social domains such as war and conflict, ideology, participation and democracy. He published numerous monographs, edited books, journal special issues and articles. Some of his recent publications include a special issue of the journal Javnost (co-edited with Julie Uldam) titled ˝Publics, Discursive Struggles and Political Agency˝ (2015), an edited monograph ˝Culture, Trauma & Conflict: Cultural Studies Perspectives on Contemporary War˝ (Cambridge Scholars Publishers, 2015) and a monograph ˝Media and Participation: A Site of Ideological-Democratic Struggle˝ (Intellect, 2011).

Nastavi čitati

Media and social change: an interview with Friedrich Krotz

Friedrich Krotz is Professor of Communication and Media Studies at the Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI), University of Bremen in Germany. He holds a Diploma in mathematics from the University of Karlsruhe and a Diploma in sociology from the University of Hamburg. He wrote his dissertation in sociology and his habilitation thesis in communication science and journalism. He worked as a mathematician at the University of Saarland, as a sociologist at the University of Hamburg and as a researcher in political science at the Free University of Berlin. Between 1989 and 2001 he was a researcher at the Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research at the University of Hamburg. From 2001 to 2003 he worked as a professor at the University of Munster. From 2003 to 2010 he was a Chair of Communication Science and Social Communication at the University of Erfurt. Finally, since 2010 until today he became a Chair of Communication and Media Studies, Social Communication and Mediatization Research at the University of Bremen. He is the responsible editor of the journal “Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research” and since 2009 coordinator of the priority research program “Mediatized Worlds” funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG). The program includes multiple research projects based at different universities in German speaking countries. Among his publications is a book co-edited with Andreas Hepp titled “Mediatized Worlds: Culture and Society in a Media Age” (Palgrave, 2014), a book co-edited with Nick Couldry and Andreas Hepp titled “Media Events in a Global Age” (Routledge, 2010) a monograph in German language titled “Mediatisierung: Fallstudien zum Wandel von Kommunikation” (VS Verlag, 2007) and numerous other monographs, edited books and articles in German and English. His present work mainly focuses on mediatization theory, communication and socio-cultural change.

Nastavi čitati

Predavanje Prof. dr. sc. Christiana Fuchsa ˝Culture and Economy in the Age of Social Media: Theorising Contemporary Society with Raymond Williams, Herbert Marcuse, and Dallas Smythe˝

Sekcija za sociologiju medija HSD-a pod pokroviteljstvom Odjela za sociologiju Sveučilišta u Zadru i Multimedijalnog instituta u Zagrebu organizirala je gostujuća predavanja Prof. dr. sc. Christiana Fuchsa. Prvo predavanje održalo se 8. svibnja u 11 sati u Zadru (Dvorana za poslijediplomske studije, Zgrada rektorata), a drugo 9. svibnja u 19 sati u Zagrebu (Preradovićeva 18). Christian Fuchs profesor je u području društvenih medija (eng. social media) u Institutu za istraživanje medija i komunikacije na Sveučilištu Westminster u Londonu i ravnatelj Centra za istraživanje društvenih medija. Također je urednik časopisa tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique (, zamjenik voditeljice EU COST akcije Dynamics of Virtual Work, voditelj je Istraživačke mreže 18 – Sociologija komunikacija i istraživanja medija Europske sociološke asocijacije i autor knjiga ˝Culture and Economy in the Age of Social Media˝, ˝Digital Labour and Karl Marx˝, ˝Social Media: A Critical Introduction˝, ˝OccupyMedia! The Occupy Movement and Social Media in Crisis Capitalism˝.

Nastavi čitati

Istraživanje medijskog sustava u Hrvatskoj: propadanje medija i novinarstva pod pritiskom komercijalizacije

Na dan 27. studenog 2014. u 18 sati u prostorijama Društva sveučilišnih nastavnika (Hebrangova 17) u Zagrebu održalo se predavanje dr. sc. Helene Popović, docentice na studiju novinarstva Fakulteta političkih znanosti u Zagrebu. U izlaganju su predstavljeni rezultati istraživanja provedeni u okviru projekta South East European Media Observatory Building Capacities and Coalitions for Monitoring Media Integrity and Advancing Media Reforms.

Nastavi čitati