Communication and Social (Dis)order
What is the place of media and communication in today’s globalized society, affected by ongoing social and political conflicts, wars, the systemic crises of the capitalist order, prospects of further environmental degradation, weather extremes and continuous pandemics, the restructuring of everyday life by the rise of artificial intelligence, and the epistemic crisis within which contemporary academia operates?
Disruptions in the fields of politics, economy, health, and technology have significantly reshaped contemporary communication, resulting in dysfunctional unpredictability of the social system with troubling consequences for individuals and society as a whole. At the same time, recent technological developments and changing communication practices have often been labelled as exacerbators and even the origin of these systemic disruptions, emphasizing their destructive (disorder) or creative potential (new order).
Historically, however, technologies and communication practices have continuously been reconfigured by the tendencies to reproduce the prevailing social organization and its control, sustaining the established norms, values, and relations, and the struggles to transform the prevailing structures and relations to ameliorate inequalities, discrimination, and surveillance on individual, social, and global levels. Considering that the trajectories of future societal development are shaped by the outcomes of current struggles, this underscores the urgency of scientific reflection and examination at this moment, in support of the necessary social change towards greater social justice.
The ECC 2024 conference invites participants to reconsider the communication (dis)order by reflecting upon ongoing political, economic, environmental, health, and technological disruptions, their (dys)functional (un)predictability, and their long-term societal implications. While the speed and scope of contemporary communicative developments and social disruptions can easily generate an impression of unprecedented changes, felt either as a breakdown of the “old” order or the creation of a “new” one, this sensation is by no means exclusive to the present moment.