Conference on "Communication and Social Change: Theory, ICTs, Media and Francophone Spheres" May 22, 2008
On May 22, there will be an ICA Pre-conference on "Communication and Social Change: Theory, ICTs, Media and Francophone Spheres." Papers for this pre-conference must be submitted by November 15.
CALL FOR PAPERS: WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF ICA’S 22ND MAY 2008 PRECONFERENCE
COMMUNICATION AND Social Change: THEORY, ICTS, MEDIA AND FRANCOPHONE SPHERES
For several decades, global communication theories and practices have presented various strategies targeted towards change in various countries Through radio, television, satellite, or other traditional tools, politicians, journalists, researchers, partners of development, etc. favoured communication as a means to social change. The examples of Asia (India, Japan, etc) show their achievement in taking advantage of local traditions as an inner force enabling development. Others (Brazil, Argentina) made emphasis on communication networks whilst the increasing number of cybercafés and the use of mobile telephony show the inventiveness of Africans in the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
However, people tend to forget that global communication also include the role of media in industrialized countries. Indeed, media concentration as seen in USA, Canada, UK or France for example has consequences on social level. At the same time, immigration and the diversity of cultures in different countries has an impact on the way media treats diversity. But media and technologies are not the only means for change. Social aspects of communication are also used for the sake of change. Hence, participation and empowerment have been developed as social means for change. Whilst in Latin America the propositions made by Paulo Freire have been very useful for the liberation theology and for the education of people from Brazil, Chile or Argentina, in Africa, the Ujamaa project of President of Tanzania (Julius Nyerere) has been very influential as regards to the role of peasants in the development of their country.
Various regions of the world follow different ways to path their road to social change. This preconference aims at questioning diverse aspects of change through social practices of communication, theories, ICTs, media and franchophonie. The pre-conference seeks to:
- identify the ways through which communication theory by itself can have an impact on human action and help change local situation;
- map out the diverse aspects of social change through some geographical examples;
- reflect on the role and the impact of ICTs in society;
- question media as regards to globalization and hybridity.
Following the theme Communicating for Social Impact, the colloquium seeks to bring together the community of researchers interested in the vast domain of global communication and social change. In this sense, the conference turns around the following four axes:
1) Communication and Social Change: A Theory for itself and by itself?
This axis aims at questioning the role of communication theory as regards to its social impact. Somehow provocative, the axis questions the existing theories in communication and social change and wishes to confront them. What is the state of the theories on communication? Has communication been an ideological tool for installing some world vision? In what ways does the theory has been helpful to the people? Does communication theory have an impact on the local level? How are local experiences reinterpreted in theoretical eyes? Can the discourse be renewed? Which new theoretical tracks are offered to researchers? Can one redefine the domain of communication and social change as regards to the recent world’s changes? What are the social backgrounds that privilege the choice of a particular theory than another one? Is theory necessary whilst society needs real work instead of intellectual research?
2) ICTs and social change
Research on ICTs has grown in importance throughout the last decade. Some technologies – Internet for instance – have caused major change in society. The omnipresence of this discourse, particularly in industrialized countries led to Castells’ Rise of the Network Society (1996). ICTs impacts can be seen at different social structures of industrialized and non industrialised countries. In USA, Canada or Japan, these technologies lead to individual and collective changes. In Latin America and Africa, Internet and the mobile phone are used for their empowerment capability. What is about freedom of speech and ICTs? From civil society to governance, ICTs have modify the world and the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS, 2003-2005) proposed a new vision of the role played by technologies and social agents. Now, the uses of ICTs can be questioned throughout the world: are we submitted to a standardization of technology’s uses? The objective of this axis is to consider the role and the impact of ICTs in different geographical spheres. Are social structures and social relationship modified with generalizations of ICTs? In order words, are ICTs a tool for social evolution? After NWOIC and WSIS, what is next?
3) Media, Culture and Globalization in Canada
The objectives of this axis are to question the role of the media in the context of globalization. With the growth and the concentration of media, a lot of critiques have been made on their democratic contents, their cultural values and economic structures. Some critiques are also made on the integrating role of media. Canada presents itself as an immigration country but how can Canadian media target both non immigrants and immigrants citizens without being criticized for having some biased perspectives? If the media try to target most of the population, one can wonder how do they succeed in reflecting the hybridity of the audience? Can Canadian media succeed in providing cultural diversity? In this axis, such issues can be analysed: media content, reception of media, UNESCO’s diversity convention, etc.
4) Francophone Research in Communication
For a long time, francophone research in communication has been presented as minor in communication research. However, francophone research has a well established tradition in America (especially Québec), in Europe (France, Belgium) and in Africa (Burkina, Cameroun, Côte d’Ivoire, Sénégal, Togo, Tunisie, etc.). Hence, this axis aims at making known francophone research in communication in several domains as : health, ICTs, development, organization, etc.
Within the framework of the ICA at Montreal (Canada): Thursday, 22nd of May 2008
Process of selection
The papers must include addresses and mails of the authors and must include a title, an axis of interest as well as a summary (500 words). They must be sent by the 15th of November 2007, file attached to the following E-mail address: email@example.com
The proposals will follow a peer-review process.