European Ph.D on Social Representations and Communication
So.Re.Com. Joint-IDP Unified Research Framework and Specific Project Focuses

A main characteristic of the supra-disciplinary field is its great consistency in terms of epistemological and theoretical inspiration and its rich diversity both:

  • from the paradigmatic point of view - as developed by the “structural approach” to S.R and central core theory; by the “social positioning approach”, guided by the socio-dynamic perspective; by the “monographic” and “anthropological” approaches; by the “dialogical”, “conversational” and “biographical-narrative” approaches, and by the integrating “modelling” approach;
  • in terms of methodological approaches (qualitative, monographic, anthropological, experimental, descriptive, structural, visual-figurative, multi-methodological, etc.) developed by the network research teams in a synergic and complementary way;
  • from the thematic point of view - as expressed in the variety of research topics. These relate to hot societal issues in contemporary society, including: Science and Social Representations (S.R.); Culture, Globalization and S.R.; Communication, Media and Social Representations; Collective Memory, Identity, Gender, Politics, Health, the Environment, Education, Economics and Finance, Marketing and Organizational Contexts, Risk and Community Life;
  • with respect to the applied contexts and domains of expert and lay knowledge production and transmission: education, health, economics, environment, tourism, politics, organisations, media industry, etc.

Given the wide range of the research sub-topics developed by the cross-national and cross-sectoral research teams (see the 13 main thematic areas and the multiple specific research sub-topics on the European/International Joint PhD in Social Representations and Communication webpage), the project leader has decided to issue a call for vacancy defining a priority list of projects guided by the main goal of evaluating the impact of the scientific production driven by the Social Representations theory in the social arena faced with social demand. The aim is to take stock of the scientific field developed in more than 50 years by conducting an empirical meta-theoretical analysis of the literature on Social Representations, mapping the development of different paradigms, the related research methods, the thematic areas and their impact on the various applied fields within the multi-generational community of scientists and across different geo-cultural contexts.

This unified research project framework will be articulated into 13 precise objectives concerning the specific research lines to be developed by each recruited ESR, matching their own interests and area of prior expertise. This comprehensive research framework will be built on an on-going project led by the director of the European/International Joint PhD in Social Representations and Communication who has designed specific web-tools (including the on-line grid for the meta-theoretical analysis and the related web-repositories) for the purpose of conducting an empirical meta-theoretical analysis of the literature on Social Representations*. Therefore it will be supported by mediated access to the digital resources implemented on the website (full bibliographic repository, meta-analysis repository, specialised SoReCom “A.S. de Rosa” @-Library and search engine connected with all the above mentioned repertoires, including a very rich documentation built up over two decades with an enormous effort of work team coordination and assessment by the project leader), as well as mediated access to the most comprehensive physical library worldwide specialised in the Social Representations and Communication literature currently available at the new location of the European/International Joint PhD in Social Representations and Communication Research Centre and Multimedia Lab. The unified research framework will provide an integrated training opportunity to maximise the cooperative and joint expertise of both the host institution and associated partners, doing so from the theoretical, methodological and applied perspective of the researches conducted in the 50-year development and diffusion of this scientific field, with a view to monitoring and exploiting its added value to respond to social demand in the multiple contexts of the social arena: from economics to the environment, politics, health and community issues, science communication, etc. Thus clear information on the main research framework and indication of the more specific focuses of each sub-project will help optimise the allocation of the selected applicants to the individual research topic and the team in which they will be included for their research training activities at the main host institution, as well as the choice of the co-tutors and the foreign institutions for their secondments. We expect to recruit 13 ESR, who will be distributed among the specific project focuses:

  1. Genesis and development of the “structural paradigmatic approach” in more than 50 years of social representation theory: mapping theory, methods, thematic areas and applications
  2. Genesis and development of the “socio-dynamic paradigmatic approach” in more than 50 years of social representation theory: mapping theory, methods, thematic areas and applications
  3. Genesis and development of the “dialogical, conversational and narrative paradigmatic approaches” in more than 50 years of social representation theory: mapping theory, methods, thematic areas and applications
  4. Genesis and development of the “anthropological and ethnographic paradigmatic approach” in more than 50 years of social representation theory: mapping theory, methods, thematic areas and applications
  5. Genesis and development of the “modelling paradigmatic approach” in more than 50 years of social representation theory: mapping theory, methods, thematic areas and applications
  6. Mapping the impact and dissemination of the social representation theory across different geo-cultural contexts: “Europe”, the theory’s homeland
  7. Mapping the impact and dissemination of the social representation theory across different geo-cultural contexts: “North-America and other continents (Oceania, Asia, Africa)”, the new emerging scenarios
  8. Mapping the impact and dissemination of the social representation theory across different geo-cultural contexts: “Latin America”, the most fertilised scenario
  9. Taking stock of the literature in the thematic field of “Science, Social Representations and Communication”
  10. Taking stock of the literature in the thematic field of “Social Representations and Environment”
  11. Taking stock of the literature in the thematic field of “Social Representations, Economy, Advertising, Marketing and Organizational Contexts”
  12. Taking stock of the literature in the thematic field of “Social Representations, Community & Health”
  13. Taking stock of the literature in the thematic field of “Social Representations & Politics: Multidimensional identities, intergroup relations, social movements and active minorities”

Depending on the number of applications received, the matching of the applicants’ prior knowledge and interests with the research project focuses offered in the call, their multi-languages skills and the optimisation of the complementary resources training across the network, the distribution of the recruited ESR among the specific research topics will be undertaken flexibly in order to ensure the best productive accomplishment of the program’s goals and ESR’s needs.

The expertise of our partners both in and outside Europe and the synergies created by our international research teams, composed of academic, public and private sector institutions and enterprises, will provide research trainees with a much wider experience both in terms of methodologies and scientific input as well as an opportunity to explore employment possibilities outside of academia that they otherwise might not have considered.

Each fellow – coherently with the main objectives and the specific focus on the individual research project – will have to accomplish the following main tasks, and achieve the results and dissemination activities as below briefly summarised:

I. Main Objectives:
Built on an on-going project led since 20 years by the director of the European PhD on Social Representations and Communication Research Centre and Multimedia Lab who has designed specific web-tools (including the on-line grid for the meta-theoretical analysis and the related web-inventories) for the purpose of conducting an empirical meta-theoretical analysis of the literature on Social Representations, the specific project aim is to take stock of the scientific field developed in more than 50 years by conducting an empirical meta-theoretical analysis of the literature on Social Representations, mapping its development, the related research methods, the thematic areas and their impact on the various applied fields within the multi-generational community of scientists and across different geo-cultural contexts.

II. Tasks and methodology:
Following guidelines and procedures given by the project leader prof. de Rosa and a specific training, the specific ESR’s contribution will consist:

  • to detect and retrieve publications not yet inserted in the specialized SoReCom “A.S. de Rosa” @-Library, and meta-analyse the whole body of the literature on Social Representations produced according to the specific focus on the individual research project over the world and not only in the geo-cultural context/continent of the host institution for mobility stage;
  • to fill the new information and upload the related PDF files into the specialized SoReCom “A.S. de Rosa” @-Library;
  • to carry out statistical analyses on the complete meta-analysed body (extracted from the SoReCom “A.S. de Rosa” @-Library inventories after the integration of the new information);
  • to produce video-interviews – according to an outline designed by the project leader - with the key scientists who contribute to the development of the specific focus on the individual research project to Social Representations;
  • to fully describe, visualize and comment the results obtained in intermediate reports and in the PhD thesis (in the double format of detailed report in English and a short article).

III. Planned secondment:
3 months (September-November 2015) at the host University for the planned secondment

IV. Milestones (M) of the Results to be achieved:

M1.
Presentation by the ESR of their scientific interests and research objectives
M2.
First yearly evaluation of the ESR research progress report by the tutors (Main tutor and co-tutors)
M3.
Second yearly evaluation of the ESR research progress report by the tutors (Main tutor and co-tutors)
M4.
Third yearly evaluation of the ESR research final report (thesis and short article) by the tutors (Main tutor and co-tutors)
M5.
ESR thesis defence before the So.Re.Com. Joint-IDP Final Jury for award of the Joint Degree

 

V. Main Dissemination Activities (D):

D1.
Presentations during International Conferences by ESR (in accordance with the IPR Agreement signed by the ESR)
D2.
Contribution to the improvement of the SoReCom "A.S. de Rosa" @-Library and of the interconnected repositories for full bibliographic inventory and meta-theoretical repository
D3.
ESR SoReCom@-News
D4.
Contribution of the ESR to the preparation of didactic teaching materials and courses
D5.
Open Summer Schools
D6.
Infodays and workshops organized by ESR to present the research to undergraduates
D7.
Production of video-interviews with ESR, destined to promote the project to the general public (in a format of web-video-clips to be released on the internet)
   

 

For each fellow the risk assessment and procedures to prevent potential negative scenarios foresees :

  • Change of the co-tutor and/or of the host institution for secondment might occur due to a combination of many unforeseen factors (working condition, busy agenda, health, withdrawal…). However, thanks to the multiple scientific resources available within the wide network of the associated partners, alternative solutions will be easily arranged to designate a new co-tutor (whether it be at the same institution or, if necessary, from another institution coherent with the specific ESR project’s needs).
  • IPR issues: Rules and procedures to prevent risk related to IPR issues are clearly described in the dedicated section IPR Policy
  • Time Commitment and Time management issues: To prevent risks concerning potential failures in respecting the Time Commitment (to complete the PhD within the expected 3 years) and the Time Management (tocomplete the research training activities according to agreed upon schedules, milestones, deliverables and progress in research outputs), these two essential elements of the programme are clearly highlighted since the beginning of the ESR’s enrolment in the So.Re.Com. Joint-IDP, both in their Welcome Letterand in the Research Trainee’s Agreement and Thesis Charter (written following the model employment contract for Marie Curie fellows). A notice will be introduced in the salary-employment contract about the exclusion from the So.Re.Com. Joint-IDP with the termination of the contract in case of failure to fulfil the obligations of the program. According to Regulations of the So.Re.Com. Joint-IDP the re-admission in the following academic year is conditional to the approval of the ESR research progress report and completion of the ECTS. Moreover, a specific operational tool has been created to help the trainees to effectively manage the time in the research training process: the European/Internaitonal Joint PhD in Social Representations and Communication Research Trainees WORKPLAN CHART and TIMELINE

* for more details consult:

de Rosa, A.S. (2013). Taking stock: a theory with more than half a century of history. Introduction to: A.S. de Rosa (Ed.), Social Representations in the "social arena”. (pp. 1-63.) Routledge, New York – London. ISBN 978-0-415-59119-5

de Rosa, A.S. (2013). Research fields in social representations: snapshot views from a meta-theoretical analysis In A.S. de Rosa (Ed.), Social Representations in the "social arena". (pp. 89-124),Routledge, New York – London. ISBN 978-0-415-59119-5