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University of Tampere

5. New forms of communication and interaction

The current social challenges cut through all levels of our social worlds, transforming forms of interaction from personal and professional fields to national and transnational communication. Addressing the consequences of new social trends requires taking full advantage of the potentials of new, cohesive and mediating forms of communication and interaction. At the same time, new channels and modes of interaction also cause new problems and can complicate conflicts.

The University of Tampere (UTA) is an internationally renowned hub of study of communication, media and social interaction. The research is conducted in several schools, and its strengths in the field include research on themes such as public spheres and transnational media cultures, games, media and political communication, the roles of media audiences and civic participation, media’s influence on everyday interaction, and problems of interpersonal and professional communication. These themes are often studied in contexts overlapping with issues of governance, agency and wellbeing and articulated through specific policy areas (the environment, multiculturalism, media education etc.).

The future research agenda for research communication and interaction covers a wide area of important questions. On the level of infrastructures, there is an urgent need to study the emerging new information flows and practices of the new transnational, digitalised communication, in people’s everyday lives and between nations and cultural groupings. Understanding and facilitating active political agency – both new conflicts and their management – depends on this. On the level of practice, the development of skills and capacities of interaction builds new opportunities for better lives, but also disrupts existing roles and expectations (between generations, between professionals and amateurs, between cultures and identities) thus provoking ethical and normative challenges. On the level of ideologies, the new communication environment questions fundamental assumptions and conceptualisations of social imagination, such as citizenship, privacy, social cohesion and legitimate governance.

Addressing the new social trends adequately requires intense attention and the development of new, cohesive and mediating forms of communication and interaction, whether they take place through the digital media or face-to-face. The design of new communicational tools, services and games has significant consequences for the formation of the social sphere, interpersonal interaction and collective action, and thus also needs to be addressed from critical perspectives.

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Last update: 11.8.2016 12.59 Muokkaa

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