Communication Networks and Social Change

Main investigator:
Borge Bravo, Rosa
Social sciences
Area of specialization:
Network society
Affiliation center:
Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3)
UNESCO codes:
630707, 590606, 630799, 630702
17 - Partnerships for the goals
10 - Reduced inequalities
16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions
  • ICT Information and Communication Technologies
  • New technologies and social change
  • Network society
  • Digital technologies
  • Political participation

The main goal of CNSC is to analyse selected, relevant social challenges of the network society. By taking a critical and applied perspective, we define two main areas or interest. First, technopolitics (T) refers to the variable connections between technology and politics, a timely object of research in the light of the institutional crisis our societies face. It splits into (T1) innovation and technopolitical autonomy, and (T2) social movements and the networked democracy. Second, societies (S) focuses on (S1) ageing and digital technologies and (S2) development and digital divides, two different but interrelated dimensions of great importance given the current international trends.

Grounded in the social sciences, CNSC is rooted in multidisciplinarity and incorporates knowledge and methods from a variety of disciplines and fields, such as sociology, communication, economy, social movements’ studies, STS (science, technology and society), and HCI (human computer interaction). Qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches relevant to our research are ethnography, statistics, network analysis, and data and complexity sciences.

Societies: ageing and digital technologies

It examines the processes of ageing within (mobile) digital societies, a relevant aspect given the breadth of the current demographic trend. We take a combined sociological, ethnographic and human-computer interaction perspective to assess the extent to which older people are part of the (mobile) digital revolution, and to contribute to the design of inclusive technology.

9 - Industry, innovation and infrastructure 16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions

Technopolitics: innovation and technopolitical autonomy

It combines basic and applied approaches for analysing and contributing to the construction of technologies and social processes that nurture autonomy. That is, technologies that allow individuals to define the forms, norms and orientation of their own collective life.

Technopolitics: social movements and networked democracy

It looks into the infrastructures, structures and processes of the protest movements that emerged worldwide in response to the financial, economic and democratic crisis at the beginning of the 21st century. Our work in this area analyses social transformation processes from a situated, experimental and interdisciplinary perspective, opening new narrative, analytical and practical territories.

10 - Reduced inequalities

Societies: development and digital divides

It analyses how the ubiquitousness of digital technologies affects developing areas, particularly Latin America, and creates (new) digital divides. Here, we combine cultural and socio-economic perspectives.

10 - Reduced inequalities