The Department of Communication and Social Research focuses its scientific and didactic activity in the area of social research and communication in an interdisciplinary context aimed at preparing professionals in communication and social research. The research activity is closely related to the territory, the business community and the Italian network of scientific research. Its interdisciplinary nature, provided by the plurality of disciplines in the Department, is a fundamental element of integration between research and teaching at all levels of university studies, in particular at the Ph.D. Course in Communication, Social Research and Marketing.
Between 2014-2016 the research staff of the Department belongs to the following scientific-disciplinary sectors: 65% in the general sociology, the sociology of cultural and communicative processes, and special sociologies sectors;13% in the history, judiciary and political sectors; 12% in the psychology, anthropology, and the semiotic and linguistic sectors; 8% in the economic and marketing sectors; 2% in statistics.
Map of the areas of interest
The plurality of the knowhow and the competences present in the Department is reflected in a highly varied and interdisciplinary research activity. In this wide context it is possible to identify some main tendencies:
- Cultural Industries, Media and Journalism. A long-term area of study of the Department related to specific themes focused on the main cultural industries as television, radio, cinema, etc: format, languages and audiences analysis; media representation of some aspects of society (economic crisis, justice, immigration, gender, socialization processes, terrorism).
- Internet and social network sites. The interest for the opportunities and the critical aspects of the new technology of communication has developed in relation to specific areas of research: access profiles to digital networks; social and political participation on social network sites; transmedia behaviour analysis; media representation; media education.
- Social inclusion and exclusion/cultural integration. An area of wide and varied interests in which the department professors consider from different points of view: ethnic and religious prejudice and homophobia; analysis of patterns of intercultural and interreligious relations; human rights and refugee; gender issues.
- Institutions, political systems, movements and participation. Research on political institutions is carried out from a traditional point of view firstly: analyses of electoral behaviour, characteristics and workings of the parties, democracy and political rights. Secondly, from emergent perspectives: political and civic engagement, advocacy, participate democracy, movements and political participation 2.0; the themes of security, of wars, of new terrorism and their representations.
- Environment, territory and cultural heritage. In this field, there is a convergence of study perspectives (media research, sociology, social psychology, marketing) with particular reference to the following themes: smart cities; urban creativity; environmental sustainability and social representation; environmental planning and communication; promotion of cultural heritage and tourism.
- Marketing and Corporate communication. This is a strategic area of the Department interests in which the researches focus on in particular: public relations; integrated communication; cultural heritage promotion; advertising; corporate social responsibility; strategic and digital marketing.
- University: reforms and placement. This is a scientific field in which the Department carries out researches with particular reference to the following themes: training models related to the labour market, work placement, social professions focusing on social politics and communication; digitalization of the training and didactic processes.
- Evaluation. In this field, systematic attention is devoted to the following themes: the research quality; public policies; university trainings; organizations performances.
The research interests of the Department are not limited to the issues described before. Significant researches (for impact and visibility) have been carried out in the following research areas: the youth at risk, temporary employment, health; the mafia and internal relationship, corporate social responsibility; medicalization of life.
Research activities with extra-academic customers
A large part of the Department research activity was financed with European funds, the Ministry of Italian University and La Sapienza the University of Rome, throughout the triennium 2014-2016. The Department was successful in obtaining donations from extra-academic institutions, such as:
- The European Commission for research about transnational political participation, European journalism, digital literacy.
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, The Ministry of Economic Development for research on different themes as the communication of international cooperation, the cinema and the web.
- Lazio Region for research on water waste and urban suburbs.
- ENEA for research on clean energy and enogastronomia
- Vodafone Foundation, Panini Ltd, Unipol, Eurispes, Forum Internazionale del Terzo Settore for research on the Think tank in Italy and Europe; evaluation and prevision of social, communicative and economic phenomena; cultural and communicative policies of the Third Sector.