The umbrella "Societal Discourses" focuses on the formation, development, and circulation of discourses, imaginaries, narratives, and counternarratives concerning structural social transformation within the contemporary public sphere.
The research team adopts an interdisciplinary approach and a wide range of research techniques to analyse the interplay of narratives in the public debate and their articulation into societal discourses. Special attention will be dedicated to detecting the role of mass media as means for their formulation and transmission and envisaging the social and political effects that societal discourses perform, paving the way for cultural shifts and grounding public opinion.
Discourses, narratives, and imaginaries reproduce societal structures and power relations. This research aims to contribute to a better understanding of how exactly this occurs. It also seeks to explore alternative discourses, narratives, or imaginaries. Additionally, the research strives to understand how discourses reproduce, develop, or dismantle inequalities and equalities. Research questions and research design will be chosen to consider marginalized perspectives in particular. Societal Discourses, therefore, aims to provide a scientific starting point for an inclusive discourse on the development of modern societies and thus to counteract populist and exclusionary narratives leading to increased political and societal polarisation.
The research team will be investigating three areas:
1. Gender and intersectionality
2. Climate change and other crises
3. Information and media
For each area, specific research activities will investigate the local-global dimension, looking at how the South Tyrolean public debate transposes narratives coming from the national and international level.
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