Social, political and economic changes

 

Research Proposal 

Researchers

Research Group

 
Social challenges in datafied societies.
 
 A challenge of datafied societies is the impact of stereotypes and design biases on automated, algorithm-based decisions. The final goal is to theorize data justice and power distribution particularly, but not exclusively, in relation to age-based discrimination (ageism). The aim is to understand how the uncritical use of big data reinforces stereotypes and discrimination. For instance, when a face recognition system for job recruitment proves to be racist, sexist or ageist.
 
How do automated decisions deprioritize, disregard or disempower minorities and disadvantaged collectives by not considering their values, interests, and habits?
 
 
CNSC

Digital practices in old age

We invite candidates to use a cross-national longitudinal study (three waves of data: 2016, 2018, and 2020; 7 countries; https://actproject.ca/act/longitudinal-study/) as a starting point to theorize the role digital communication plays in different stages of old age, particularly in (post-) COVID-19 times. How does accelerated digitization shape old age and the ageing process? Are there new strands of empowerment? What (new) digital inequalities do older individuals face?

 
CNSC

Political Deliberation on social media and platforms.

The aim of this research line is to analyse how political parties and their associated networks (followers, sympathizers, factions, civic associations, social movements, opponents) are using social media. Are they contributing to a deliberative public sphere or are they just channels for propaganda and polarization? The methodology to be used is content analysis, network analysis and big data, as well as qualitative techniques.

Dr Rosa Borge Bravo CNSC

Political participation through digital platforms.

The aim of this research line is to analyse the changes that digital platforms are bringing into processes of participation initiated by governments and public administrations. Which participatory processes are being developed the most and why? What barriers do participatory platforms face in their development? What platform designs are needed for democratic improvement? Could platforms substitute governments? The methodology to be used is analysis of specific cases and comparison among different cases. 
 
Dr Rosa Borge Bravo CNSC

Technopolitics and the future of democracy.

This line looks at the various ways in which technologies (especially digital technologies) and politics shape each other today, and what are the alternative futures for democracy as a result. The line moves from foundational problems in political theory and philosophy of technology up to specific  movements such as Black Lives Matter or projects of networked democracy such as Decidim.org, which we co-founded; more broadly, it covers processes ranging from the platformization and datafication of social movements, the public sphere, political parties and States to the construction and sociotechnical governance of data and digital infrastructures. It carries on an interdiscilpinary analysis (involving both descriptive and normative perspectives, and combining qualitative and quantitative methods, from ethnography to big data analysis) of digital politics today, including its conditions (e.g., platforms), phenomena (e.g., fake news, multitudinous identities), and regimes (e.g., authoritarianism, democracy). 
 
 
CNSC
 
Complexity, stability and change in digital societies
 
We live in digital societies that have grown extremely complex, composed of interconnected, multi-layered and multi-scalar systems and assemblages. With this in mind, how are we to think of their structures and dynamics? What are the general forms of construction and conflict in these societies? What role do dimensions such as technology and politics play, and how are these dimensions themselves structured, stabilized or transformed? This research line aims to conceptually and empirically explore a systemic theory of digital societies, connecting different traditions in philosophy, sociology, political science, political economy, science and technology studies, and complexity sciences.
 
CNSC
 
Humanity and technology: rethinking the human condition in the 21st century
 
This research line digs into rival narratives on the relationship between humanity and technology. The first, transhumanism, has argued that we should use technology to modify our biological, cognitive and social makeup to become more than human. More recently, technological humanism has stressed the reverse need to humanize technology, introducing humanist ethics and values into it. Both views are rooted in modern humanism, which usually places the human being as the measure, if not also the foundation and ultimate goal, of reality. As a response, forms of cultural posthumanism have proliferated as a constellation of positions that criticize the humanist vision of humans and their relationship with technologies, other living beings and reality itself. This research line draws, firstly, on the history of ideas and culture, and, secondly, on a critique coming from political economy. The aim is to explore some of the conceptual nuances of these narratives as well as their social, economic, political and ecological conditions and impacts.
 
CNSC

Platform economy: From platform capitalism to platform cooperativism. 

The Dimmons research group at IN3 (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) focuses on socio-economic and gender innovation connected to the challenges and opportunities opened up by the digital revolution sphere, and more concretely, on the collaborative economy and the commons. Emergence and economic implications of collaborative production, the configuration of a new production model based on open knowledge, level of economic activity and business models associated with platform economy, both from an alternative platform cooperativism perspective and a platform capitalism one. The analysis is based on a feminist economics framework, connected to commons studies, social innovation and the social economy.
 
Dr  Mayo Fuster 
Email: mfuster@uoc.edu    
Dimmons

Research action oriented and participative Methodological innovations.

Open science and methodological innovation emerging from the collaborative economy and action-oriented frameworks applied to research. Theorisation and empirical analysis of innovative research practices.
 
Dr  Mayo Fuster 
Email: mfuster@uoc.edu  
Dimmons

Feminist digital economy.

The Dimmons research group at IN3 (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) focuses on socio-economic and gender innovation connected to the challenges and opportunities opened up by the digital revolution sphere, and more concretely, on the collaborative economy and the commons. The analysis is based on a feminist economics framework, connected to commons studies, social innovation and social economy. The project will build a framework of gender and feminist qualities of the digital sphere and apply empirical cases to local ecosystems that connect digital transformation, the social economy and feminist movements.
 
Dr  Mayo Fuster 
Email: mfuster@uoc.edu  
Dimmons

Equality plans in digital platforms.

The project will analyse the existing framework and practices connected to equality and diversity in digital platforms, from both a capitalist and a social-oriented approach, with an action-oriented perspective methodology. 
 
Dr  Mayo Fuster   Dimmons

Sharing food.

Analysis of innovation digitally based applications and collaborative sharing dynamics connected to food sovereignty, from the perspective of both the ecosystem of practices and public policies.

Dr Ricard Espelt 

 

Dr  Mayo Fuster 

Email: mfuster@uoc.edu

Dimmons
 
Interaction with technology for health at micro, meso or macro level: Implementations and assessment. 
 
We all use information and communication technologies for work, leisure and health. Our particular interest is in evaluating and understanding how (and why) people access/use information, applications or devices to take care of their own health (at individual or population level). We also want to support healthcare professionals when making decisions at micro, meso or macro level. More specifically, we are interested in:
  • Interaction with technology for health from a sociological perspective.
  • Implementation of digital health interventions at a meso or macro level.
  • Assessment of the quality of health information available through information and communication technologies; also mechanisms that people use to manage the information.
 
 
eHealth Lab Research Group

Sustainable and smart mobility.

In the context of climate change, digital transformation, increasing congestion and changing consumption patterns, the planning of mobility policies is suffering significant transformations. We are looking for candidates that would like to analyse sustainable mobility systems and policies.
 
 
Suma

Ethical leadership and gender.

Aviation is facing significant challenges in terms of climate change, environmental reputation, new patterns of regional and international mobility, and technology developments. We are looking for candidates that would like to analyse the different sustainability dimensions of aviation, which include economic, environmental and social aspects. 
 
Dr Natalia Cugueró-Escofet Suma

Aviation Sustainability.

Culture diversity and ethical values in organizations remain a significant challenge for both small and medium-sized enterprises and large corporations. We are looking for candidates that would like to explore societal changes related to work practices, and analyse new practices in talent management and technology solutions that focus on cultures that place ethics at the centre.
 
Email: psuau@uoc.edu
Suma

Political theory and technology.

This research line emphasizes theoretical questions on how contemporary processes of change such as those derived from technology and other global trends affect our understanding of classical questions addressed in the field of political theory, such as democracy, freedom and equality.
 
TURBA