Information and Communication in Contemporary Globalization
7-9 Mar 2012 59052 Roubaix (France)

Detailed presentation of the axes


Axis 1. Communicational Approaches to Norms in Organizations

François Cooren / Olivier Chantraine / Patrice de la Broise


In this era of unbridled globalization of economic, social and cultural relationships, organizations live deep transformations, often associated with processes of deterritorialization and dematerialization. Organizations - especially corporations – deterritorialize themselves by capturing more and more space and labour forces, creating an often episodic reterritorialization / recontextualization, which then results in further acquisitions of territories and activities. These movements, which are usually multiplied by the combined effect of management models and information and communication technologies, also participate in the production of a relative dematerialization, which virtualizes the material support of information transfers and communications.


Such transformations are obviously not without redefining the (technical and practical) norms that dictate the organizational activities, creating the conditions for a renegotiation or even an imposition of new working practices, which tend to question habits by redefining the rules and traditions that were thought to have been established.

The sessions organized as parts of the axis titled, "Communicational Approaches to Norms in Organizations" will be an opportunity to address these normative and axiological questions from a communicational perspective. It will first consist of analysing the different ways by which these norms and rules of activities are negotiated by studying organizational practices, whether in the details of interactions, or according to more historical and longitudinal perspectives. To this end, three complementary and non-exclusive axes are proposed:


1 / Norms and ICT: What effects do information and communication technologies produce on the rules, habits and norms of work? Can these effects be negotiated in everyday practice? What kind of resistance do they engender?

2 / Norms and Globalisation: How do people negotiate or impose norms that dictate labour practices in an era of globalization of corporate activities. What are the specific problems related to this globalization process, problems that are detectable in the everyday lives of employees and managers, as well as in the policies and regulations that define its contours.

3 / Norms and cultural diversity: As more and more people coming from different cultures and traditions are working together, what are these multicultural, intercultural and transcultural situations we are talking about? What are their challenges and limits? Can we think of alternative ways than standardization?



Axis 2. Visual worlds : what are the contributions of information and communication sciences to Visual Studies ?

Sophie Chauvin / Sylvie Leleu-Merviel / Luc Pauwels


The Visual Studies emerged in the English-speaking world, where they have been developed for several years. Highly multidisciplinary in their nature, they are anchored primarily on art and art history, later adding philosophy, visual anthropology, aesthetics, physiology and psychology of reception, economics, and art market studies, and more recently computer science, sociology and cognitive science. The list is still opened, since the paradigm consists in a progressive convergence on its object of study. Any discipline whose members are working on issues related to the visual is therefore potentially implied.

Among them, communication studies have a prime position, especially semiotic perspectives on images. Today, by taking into account the three dimensions of the visual object - its shape, its meaning and its social circulation communication studies allow us, even within a single discipline, to understand the visual from various theoretical positions and methodologies. From traditional semiotic analyses to semio-pragmatic approaches through experimental or clinical methods, the diversity of views by which communication studies focus on the visual leads to apprehending various forms of visual worlds, and developing additional scientific theories.

The second axis of this conference aims at identifying and comparing the current trends in communication studies regarding visual worlds. Starting from the state of the art, a series of questions, and previous and ongoing work, the main question of this axis is: What are the specific contributions of communication studies to Visual studies? In other words, what are the specific perspectives and the new forms of knowledge that emerge from this approach in comparison with other disciplines?



Axis 3. New Media, New Public Spheres?

Bernard Miège / Hartmut Mokros / Aurélia Lamy


The evolution of media, the process of globalization of information, as well as the process of media adaptation and innovation significantly changed our perception of the public sphere. Indeed, “new” media, especially electronic media, govern the production and the renewal of ideas and practices in areas as diverse as journalism, politics, economics, culture, etc... From the "blogosphere" to the public sphere, media users (whether individual or institutional) are now able to produce and distribute information online. In this regard, they have a mediating role, similar to “traditional” media. How can we then redefine the concept of mediation? To what extent can these new forms of mediation compete with traditional media? How do they contribute (or not) to the emergence of new public spheres/spaces?


The sessions of the axis titled, "New Media, New Public Spaces?" aims to lead a successful reflection about the relationship between, on the one hand, new forms of mediation and, more widely, new forms of communication, and, on the other hand, the creation, development and emergence of “new public spheres/spaces,” through epistemological reflections and empirical field studies. To reach this aim, we propose four complementary and non-exclusive axes:


1/ New media and ancient media: oppositions, differences and relationships. What are the fundamental characteristics of what we are now calling “the media”? The term "new" will also have to be questioned: are the emerging media and public spheres/spaces really new? What makes them unique? What are the unchanging features?

2/ The new media specificities in terms of relationship between "producers" and "users." We will address questions related to usages as well as the (new) information and communication practices by showing the contribution of research on this subject.

3/ New media, new public spaces: what are the frontiers? At a time of globalization, how new media and the emergence of plural public spheres/spaces are likely to redefine the political, geographical, cultural and professional frontiers?


4/ Public spheres/spaces (plural) or public sphere/space (singular). Do these "new" public spheres/spaces require the sharing of technological and communicational norms? How can they bring out a (public) sphere/space of argumentative debates (by providing places for deliberation that lead to new forms of political action) or a different (public?) space of (new) sociability? How do these new spaces position themselves against - or complete - the traditional media field?



Axis 4. Communication Between Cultures: Another Globalization?

Béatrice Vacher / Brigitte Chapelain / Ling Chen


The opening of borders, the development of tourism, mass media and digital technologies (whether network or mobile technologies) set the stage for a new phase of globalization of communication. The circulation of products that result from cultural creativity and cultural industries, shows that culture is more than ever linked to communication. The illusion of proximity, which is sustained by these technologies, let us think that our knowledge and understanding of other cultures are more accessible. By globalizing culture, mediated communication seems to simultaneously democratize its access while standardizing certain of its forms of expression. The intrusion of technical and generic norms, as well as representations and values that pervade the intimacy of cultures, accentuates this phenomenon. Yet, if the mass media and Internet convey a degree of standardization and homogenization, certain forms of cultural practices manage to resist and artistic alternatives are emerging. What creative, social and political processes tend to be enacted in these new forms of practice and renewed mediations, and how do they innovate or recast the intercultural? How can we characterize the different types of “transcultures” that emerge from these practices?

Mutual knowledge requires a language. Can intelligent technologies develop and encourage the spirit of translation and multilingualism that remains the foundation of intercultural communication? Approaches and research that communication researchers have developed for the past years on issues of multiculturalism, interculturalism and transculturalism should allow us to recall the permanence of certain issues and better define new questions.

By starting from theoretical reflections, specific studies, observations and field surveys, the sessions of the axis titled "Communication Between Cultures: A Different Kind of Globalization", aim at increasing awareness and analysing the forms, modalities and current practices of communication between various cultures, as well as enriching the question of the third globalization through different perspectives.

Four axes are proposed:

1/ Specific contributions of communication studies to the analysis of communication between cultures. This axis is meant to recall the originality of the reflection and to show the interest of the methodologies developed by communication researchers regarding recent and current issues related to intercultural communication.

2/ Cultural and linguistic identities in the global communication space. Are cultural cohabitation and the learning of diversity affected by language differences? Are the social, cultural, religious and political representations associated with specific languages losing their specificity, or do they resist the normative constraints of communication tools and devices tools?

3/ Globalization and cultural normalization (content, standards, genres, formats...). This axis focuses on the normative influence of media, technologies and products of the cultural industry on the global creative and cultural practices. What forms and strategies of cooperation, harmonization, regulation, but also resistance, redefinition, bricolage and even ‘poaching’ are developed in cultural communities in response to new phenomena of homogenization? What values, aesthetics, and representations are expressed in response to cultural globalization?

4/ Cultural mediation and interculturalism. The evolution of mediations in the intercultural field goes through specific spaces, actors, devices, institutions and policies. Different national, cultural or linguistic spaces attribute various degrees of importance and multiple roles to intercultural mediation. What organizational and communicational forms tend to develop these different choices of intercultural mediation? Finally, are the new digital means of access to art and culture improving our knowledge of otherness (of which transculturalism is a part), and do they permit to imagine new ways of relating with the public?

Online user: 1