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LabSIC's research themes

From the start, LabSIC's research work has been centred on the industrialisation of culture, information and communication. Its three themes involve approaches (socio-economic, socio-political and socio-technical) that take on objects of investigation according to distinct problematics. A lot of research is devoted to the theoretical and epistemological aspects of socio-economic modelling with regard to the cultural industries in the French and English-speaking sectors of the political economy of communication, notably, in France, with the work of Bernard Miège, Armand Mattelart and Patrice Flichy, and, elsewhere, with that of Enrique Bustamente, Nicholas Garnham, Vincent Mosco and Herbert Schiller. This has also been the theoretical framework for research on the cultural and media industries (publication-distribution, the press, television and education), and the transformations they are undergoing.
More recently, LabSIC's researchers have worked on the conditions of propagation of socio-technical and industrial innovations, institutional communication, the role of opinion polls in the information economy and the media profile of rankings.
Across the different research projects there is a shared drive to implement and illustrate a communicational approach to the cultural and media industries, in keeping with LabSIC's methodological stance, which, over time, has contributed to its reputation in France, its international standing and its ongoing transnational projects, along with the fact that it is in charge of Labex ICCA.
LabSIC's contracts and research programmes, across a wide range of sectors (traditional and digital publishing, the computerisation of health management systems, museums, scientific and technical communication), demonstrate its capacity for innovative research.
At a certain point, given the heuristic character of LabSIC's projects, and a desire to adopt new methodologies and problematics, it became necessary to differentiate the laboratory's areas of interest so as to ensure their clarity, while also preserving their overall unity and potential for mutual enrichment.


Theme 1 :The cultural, educative and creative industries: reconfigurations of emerging sectors and logics
LabSIC's research on socio-economic models of the cultural, educational and creative industries involves concentration and financialisation, hybridisations of different sectors, and relations between industry and self-production. This type of research, carried out transversally or on a sectorial basis, focusses both on the traditional media – publishing, journalism, television, films, music, education, games – and on the protagonists, products and systems that have come to the fore in recent times. They mostly comprise an international dimension, public policy considerations and societal issues.

Our communicational approach to these industries is aimed at developing analyses of the relevant processes, with the comprehensiveness that is necessary to their overall, rational comprehension. If one looks only at individual links in the chain of the production-consumption of cultural products, this objective cannot be attained, nor can comparisons be established between different sectors. And the generic term "cultural industries" expresses the necessity for a dynamic of integration. LabSIC's work is concerned with the origins and effects of the coherence which characterises each particular sector, and which justifies its being considered as being part of the culture business, along with the significant cleavages and conflicts that exist, and the determinants of the multimediatisation and polyvaluation strategies adopted by major players in the face of new digital developments.


Theme 2: Public spaces: discourse and models
LabSIC looks at public spaces over long time periods, with an interdisciplinary approach that brings together history, socio-economics, political science, semio-pragmatics, archaeology and info-communicational studies. The idea is to investigate the changes and continuities of media practices and systems, to identify national models and the conditions of their circulation from one country to another over time. The concept of public space is also examined through that of identity construction, in terms of gender or membership of professional or mutual-interest organisations.


Theme 3 : Innovations in communication : systems, norms and uses
This theme deals with the technical, organisational and sociological conditions of the emergence, distribution and usages of innovation with regard to communication. Projects involve, for example, norms and communicational techniques applicable to the management of social phenomena and systems of mobilisation through communication, along with the networking, rationalisation, industrialisation and marketing of information and communication in different fields, the uses of digital techniques in cultural, artistic, museographical and patrimonial practices, and the development of social control in the light of hyperconnectivity, the protection of personal data and changes in norms for the protection of privacy.

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