Professor emeritus Karin Becker Photo: Fredrik Mårtenson
Professor emeritus Karin Becker Photo: Fredrik Mårtenson

Research conducted at JMK is at the forefront of both scholarly and popular dialogues regarding the role of media and communication, its artifacts, processes and institutions in society. JMK scholars draw on research questions and methods emanating from both the humanities and social sciences. Comparative studies - over time, between media genres and across cultures - are a particular strength. Our current research concentrates around the following thematic constellations from critical and societal perspectives.

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Communication, Politics and Society

A central and historically prominent research focus at JMK, this area of research includes studies of the societal roles played by the news media, especially in relation to class, gender, ethnicity and generation. This includes power relationships between politicians and journalists; the politics of news reporting and identity processes; surveillance, social movements, political extremism and the media; political communication and PR; gender and diversity aspects of journalism; media in historical conflicts and social media in contemporary ones; and how media narratives and social media negotiate emotions and existential issues. In much of this work, media representations, often with a focus on the visual, are a continuing theme.

Technology and Culture

The JMK research profile Technology and Culture frames research and research projects that cut across these two significant spheres of theory and praxis. It integrates both historical perspectives and contemporary debates in an effort to situate technology  use and cultural absorption of mediated practice in geographically contextualized scopes. Research conducted within this area incorporates key technological attributes and considerations such as ‘material’, ‘virtual’, ‘visual’, ‘experimental and creative’, ‘participatory’, ‘performative’ and ‘progressive’ aspects as well as the ‘elite’, ‘popular’, ‘rooted’ and ‘travelling’ forms of cultures. The core tenet is that as a highly ubiquitous component of both modern and late-modern societies, technology is essential to understanding and analyzing cultural forms and communicative interventions.

Global Media Studies

JMK’s research on globalization and media incorporates interdisciplinarity and critical edge and aspires to combine theoretical finesse with methodological innovation. We pay attention to both culturally and locally specific, translocal and transnational dimensions of cross-border mobilities and media flows. Equally significant are expressive cultures and cross-cultural social movements as well as broader concerns with the globalization of formats and styles, media technology, and narrative forms, often including a critical interrogation of visual dimensions of these forms and practices. In addition to political economic and culturalist analyses of media globalization and transnational news corporations, our research in this area comprises cosmopolitanism, war and conflict, identity and politics; global media events, media witnessing, cultural diversity and geography; climate change and the media; critical geopolitics and popular communication; representation and the media; and, audiences and consumption.

Our Research Goals and Output

Research at JMK is represented by high quality, internationally and regionally recognized publications as well as presence in research networks. A central concern of research conducted under both rubrics is to produce innovative and meaningful research that significantly contributes to the field of media and communication studies by way of promoting a social perspective rather than technologically, economically and culturally deterministic ones. In doing so, we also aim to reinforce the societal status and scholarly significance of media and communication studies as one of the foremost fields of academic research and higher education today.


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→ Ongoing research in Journalism Studies
→ Ongoing research in Media and Communication Studies