Research Coordinator: Susanne Smithberger

The multi-disciplinary and international network-based research group CCD, Communication, Culture and Diversity, focuses on issues of learning and communication inside and outside institutional educational settings (for instance, preschool, compulsory school, upper secondary school and adult education) and places of work (for instance, government agencies, health care sector, non-for-profit establishments, etc). 

CCD was established during the second half of the 1990’s at Örebro University, the CCD group moved to the School of Education and Communication at Jönköping University in 2016.

The three central terms: Communication, Culture and Diversity, come together in CCD with the purpose to form a perspective and a point of departure for research on communication in analogue-digital-virtual-real settings. Each of the terms function as an object of study as well as methodological and theoretical points of departure.

  • Communication focuses upon how meaning and messages are constructed, diffused, interpreted and transformed in analogue-digital environments where human-beings – children, young people and adults – engage in social practices.
  • Culture, an aspect of all social life, is used as an analytical point of departure to understand processes that are part of social and historical patterns and norms which shape contexts where people (inter)act. Cultural expressions and the circulation of media and genres across modalities, literature, film etc, also constitute research objects within CCD.
  • Diversity is a concept used to understand how social categories and various cultures, for example, ethnicity, functionality, class, or gender, get (co)created and become (in)visible across a range of arenas.

These three areas or concepts are linked and focused upon through different approaches in the research carried out within CCD. Several disciplines, the educational sciences, language and literature studies, media and communication sciences, deaf studies, gender research, amongst others, come together in the CCD network and its different projects with the ambition of developing knowledge about communication and participation in the contemporary media landscape within and across national boundaries.

The digitized era and the contemporary global world that is marked by mobility and migration have created new conditions for human-beings in general, and the research enterprise more specifically. These make it necessary to (re)consider the conditions for communication or languaging, as well as for learning and identity production. Currently, analogue and digital dimensions are understood as being blurred and interdependent, just as accumulation, density and change, are considered to be fundamental features of media landscapes.

New media categories are steadily developed through technology innovations such as virtual reality. Media products for information, entertainment and education are accumulating and creating today’s dense media landscapes. The changing features of these modality rich webs of meaning are a challenge to learning and communication inside and outside institutional educational settings and places of work.

In an ever changing landscape of digital technology and media, communicative practices and patterns of interaction between people are in a state of constant transformation. Individuals and groups are continuously involved in learning processes in order to understand how to choose technology, media and genres for different situations, and how to link these.

The research established and conducted within CCD strives to critically understand the premises for communication and participation within and across a range of analogue/real-digital/virtual contexts inside and outside educational and professional settings. The current research projects at CCD address the following themes or issues:

  1. Language policies; for communication in language learning, as well as in multilingual and pluricultural settings.
  2. Community affiliation; related to groups that are considered marginalized. The research provides insights with regards to processes of inclusion and exclusion in society for, for instance, differently-abled children and people and migrants.
  3. Pedagogical tools; research focuses upon the ways in which pedagogical tools for meaning making, reading and writing, in media dense, modality rich, and local-global contexts are shaped and used across educational and work-place settings.

A key goal of the research conducted within CCD is to illuminate the complex processes involved in communicative practices, in particular with regards to contemporary, and historical diversified and marginalized demographics of local-global communities. This knowledge production has the potential to provide insights regarding the situated and distributed nature of social practices and the nature of inclusion and exclusion.

Building upon the research work established and conducted within the CCD network-based group, the think tank DoIT (Delaktighet och inkludering [participation and inclusion]) was established in 2016. DoIT organizes regular cross-sectorial seminars hosted by CCD in Jönköping, Örebro County Theater in Örebro and the National Theater in Hallunda, Stockholm.

Representatives from different societal sectors, such as theater and culture, civil society, police, politicians, local and national NGO’s, entrepreneurs, the Swedish Public Employment Service, Insurance Agency, researchers, etc participate in whole day workshops. These workshops bring together the fields of practice and research through thematized encounters where researchers, professionals and clients discuss contemporary issues.

DoIT attempts to formulate dilemmas and problems in communication, for instance, where different groups are involved, and jointly elaborate on practices that can cater for the participation and inclusion of everyone.