Papers accepted to this conference can be presented either within one of the four panels (see below), or in the open sessions. The four panels hosted this year by QRC are the following:

  • Crossing borders, crossing boundaries? - cross-cultural perspectives in research on age
  • Monika Wilińska, School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Sweden

    In one of the most widely used definitions of qualitative research, Denzin and Lincoln (2005:3) describe this practice as consisting of “a set of interpretive, material practices that make the world visible”. However, as much as qualitative research “locates the observer in the world”, it also locates the observed in research and is dependent upon numerous practices that both transform and make research visible. That intrinsic complexity of qualitative research becomes even more prominent in cross-cultural settings and research inquiring into such highly cultural phenomena as age and ageing.

    Cross-cultural qualitative research on age and ageing offers a unique possibility to delve into the ways in which daily practices and meanings ascribed to age and ageing are enacted, are changed and/or maintained. Yet, such research is conditioned upon the meeting between strange and familiar modes of living, thinking, knowing and feeling as exhibited by all parties of a research process. The role of media and media practice in that is weighty. This urges us to think about the ways and consequences of constructing knowledge about age and ageing in unfamiliar settings and the extent to which we are able to cross boundaries (e.g. theoretical, conceptual, mental, emotional) while crossing borders.

    Contributions may include, but are not restricted to:

    • Cross-cultural knowledge on age and ageing and its validity
    • The role of qualitative researchers and their cultural backgrounds
    • Context and its meaning in research on age and ageing
    • Emotions in cross-cultural research on age and ageing
    • The making of research subjects in cross-cultural projects on age and ageing
    • The meanings of age in cross-cultural research with young and old
    • The role of media and media practices in cross-cultural research on age and ageing

  • Communication in inter-organizational collaboration
  • Panel head: Marta Najda-Janoszka, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland

    As the socio-economic landscape is becoming more and more networked, the atomic structure of the market is taken over by the system of interactive and ongoing relationships (Castells, 1996, 2000). Collaborative arrangements among organizations have become the hallmarks of the new millennium. However, although research on inter-organizational collaboration has been expanding across a wide range of disciplines, there are still many unanswered questions related to the dynamics of those formations and communicative processes that produce and reproduce collaborative relationships over time (Hardy, Phillips, & Lawrence, 2003). Aiming to expand the frontiers of research on inter-organizational communication this panel seeks contributions pertaining to the dynamic perspective of the issue.

    Topics can include but are not limited to:

    • Communicative tensions across different levels of collaboration
    • Positive and negative outcomes of inter-organizational communication at individual, group, organization and network levels
    • Antecedents of collaboration and performance of communicative processes during collaboration
    • Uses of information technology in inter-organizational communication
    • Inter-organizational communication in crisis situations
    • Contextual and environmental factors influencing communication between organizations
    • Evolution of communication ties among collaborating organizations
    • Dynamics of power inequalities in inter-organizational relations

  • Capturing biographical work
  • Panel head: Ionela Vlase, “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu, Romania

    The shift from modern to postmodern society has led social scientist to address identity issues and means through which individuals continuously engage in shaping their biographies in relation to various fields and contexts (e.g. intimate lives, romantic relationships, workplaces, friendship networks, and global politics). Biographical work is understood as a process through which individuals strategically construct their biographies, interpret their life courses, and invest their experiences with meanings enabling them to solve tensions, dilemmas and inner/outer conflicts that are unavoidable in an individualized (Beck, 1992) and increasingly liquid society (Bauman 2011). The panel aims to unpack the experiences of biographical work of different groups (e.g. migrants, ethnic groups, youth, older persons, women, men, health impaired, unemployed, and so on) and the challenges they face while seeking to give meaning to the shape of their lives and to achieve their full potential. Narrative interview (Rosenthal 1993) is a classical method through which researchers usually investigate these intimate phenomena. The panel welcomes papers focusing on the uses of narrative interviews, alone or in combination with other research methods, as means to illuminate the biographical work undertook by different social categories or groups.

    Papers can answer questions such as:

    • How life uncertainties are dealt with by different social actors?
    • What meanings individuals give to unsettled life courses that move away from standard or conventional life patterns which may act as norm in their mainstream society?
    • How different age groups, ethnic minorities or gender categories cope with biographical dilemmas they are facing?
  • Why Europe? Narratives and Counter-narratives of European Integration
  • Special Panel organized by the ECREA Temporary Working Group "Communication and the European Public Sphere"

    Panel head: Alina Bârgăoanu, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania

    Pressured by what appears as a never-ending crisis, the European Union has to face multiple internal fractures and external pressures. Populism, nationalism and right-wing extremism are seeing resurgence in a number of states across Europe, with consequences on the decision-making process in the European Union. As it became a very familiar narrative in recent years, this phenomenon creates severe discontinuities from the previous EU communication paradigm. The dangers associated with extremism and populism in the political discourse is that in order to meet the increasingly Eurosceptic public opinion, many political leaders artificially oppose the “national interest” to the EU’s interest. Populist tendencies are worth exploring in the light of EU’s multiple difficulties, the immigrant crisis being only the latest one.

    The popular mobilization that far right parties (through political figures like Le Pen in France, Gyöngyösi in Hungary or Petry in Germany) have adds new perspectives to the concept of populism and poses additional challenges to the very idea of European solidarity. Searching for the lowest common denominator (Rooduijn, 2013) of these movements, Euroscepticism and even anti-europeanism come to the forefront of the national action. Populism of the recent years, or the “new populism” (Canovan, 2006), finds in Euroscepticism one of its strongest arguments. The opposition towards the EU has become the playground for extremist actors, and the playground is getting larger with every missed step in action and communication belonging to the EU institutions.

    This panel welcomes contributions related to the latest communication patterns in the EU, as depicted in the media and in the political discourse. Our aim is to promote a critical, yet constructive, approach on European integration. Contributions may include, but are not restricted to:

    • Narratives and counter-narratives of disruption: nationalism, populism and extremism
    • The multiple crises of the European Union: fuelling far right movements
    • Symbolical representations of intra-EU fractures: East-West/North-South divides and the “Brexit”
    • Public opinion in the EU
    • Populism, nationalism, and/or extremism across EU member states (the discourse of the political leaders, public opinion, media research, etc.)
    • Framing the European Union in turmoil contexts
    • Social media and extremism
    • EU Communication as a means of resurrecting the “European idea”
    • Europeanization models and narratives – recent developments

    A broad goal of this edited panel is to explore new theoretical and empirical frameworks that might explain how current communication practices, including media visibility and framing, public discourse, citizens’ perceptions and participation, influence the development of a European arena of communication.