The members of this track work on the media (i.e. actors, contents, audience) and their role in society by addressing cultural and scientific issues in view of identifying continuities and changes in productions and practices. A wide range of topics are studied such as the uses of radio, television series, social networks, controversies in public space (e.g. euthanasia, autism, pesticides, secularism), and the relations between actors (e.g. politicians, scientists, journalists, manufacturers, citizen) on health issues.
In the field of culture studies, media and cultural assets are analyzed in terms of practices, values, identities and organizations. The objective is to draw the sociological and theoretical consequences from the increasing power of cultural industries in the reshaping of cultural consumption practices, of political mobilizations, and of self-expression and opinions. The list of consecrated center of interests like radio, television, press, and culture, has been extended to digital worlds and Internet.
The studies conducted deal with cultural practices (e.g. preferences, aesthetics judgments, participation practices and amateurism). Thus, growing attention is paid to the study of television series (e.g. the international network S.E.R.I.E.S.) in line with the interdisciplinary dynamism of research in this field. Many research fields are covered: music, which is considered as both a quantitative and qualitative field topic; young adults’ creative practices on the Internet; the inclusion of digital technologies in literature (e.g. writing, media coverage); and cultural prescriptions.
Another set of investigations link together the production and the circulation of information in traditional and new media (i.e. social networks, Internet), with celebritization phenomena, technical innovations, and ICT’s inclusion in public administration. A survey on the representations of journalistic profession is currently being conducted with French journalism schools. Studies on the debates on journalistic and scientific expertise have been undertaken.
Studying the public space of health issue and its media coverage reveals the tension among medicine community: investigators, public authorities, patients and media (i.e. written press, radio, television, Internet). Tough health was in the scope of television since its beginnings, notably in the 1950s-1960s’ medical programs that would pay homage to professionals and technical and therapeutic progress, it was not until the 1980s that television programs have dealt with health with an increased emphasis to witnesses. It is also worth studying how the dissemination of a lexicon stemming from psychiatry (e.g. paranoid, autistic, schizophrenic, psycho, etc.), reaches ordinary discourses (e.g. media, interpersonal communication), as well as its argumentative impact.