About us

Communication Networks and Social Change (CN&SC) is a research group from the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute IN3 of the Open University of Catalonia UOC.

Communication, a key aspect of human activity, is crucial in the configuration of power relations among people, social groups or institutions. In an evolving landscape of media ecologies, digital technologies allow the pervasiveness of communication networks. Such networks constitute the new social morphology of our societies and, avoiding techno-deterministic assumptions, we analyze how political, economic and, in general, social changes are shaped by them.

We develop our research on social changes from two perspectives that articulate the research lines. The first one is the analysis of new forms of civil participation and political expression  brought by network movements and emerging techno-political practices. The second one is the analysis of the role that mobile communication plays among non-central societal groups, mainly older people and low-income populations.

By developing scientific knowledge in these vibrant areas, our research group will contribute to better understand crucial social changes of our contemporary societies.

Manuel Castells
Principal Investigator
Manuel is a Spanish sociologist recognized for his research on the information society, communication and globalization. The 2000–2014 research survey of the Social Sciences Citation Index ranks him as the world’s fourth most-cited social science scholar, and the foremost-cited communication scholar.
Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol
Mobile communication has been one of her main areas of study since 2003, with a combined sociological and economic focus. Her interests are set both in developed and in developing countries. With a background on economics, she holds a PhD from the University of Barcelona. She approaches research from a multidisciplinary point of view, combining quantitative and qualitative techniques.
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Marta Almella Salvador
Research Assistant
Phd in Communication, Technologies and Society by Sapienza University of Rome (Dec. 2016). Title of the dissertation: “Participation and Web 2.0: Rhetoric or reality? A research in the province of Barcelona”. Degree in Business Economics‎ and specialization in Business Management and Marketing, by the University of Barcelona.
Daniel Blanche
Research Assistant
Daniel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Advertising from the Universidad del Pacífico of Chile. He pursued a Master’s Degree in Research in Sociology at the Universitat de Barcelona (UB), and a Master's Degree in Research in Sociology and Demography at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). Daniel is currently a PhD candidate in Political and Social Sciences at UPF.
Antonio Calleja-López
PhD student in Sociology (University of Exeter), Masters of Advance Study in Philosophy (University of Seville), Master in Political Science (Arizona State University) and Certified in Education Sciences (University of Seville). He takes part in projects ranging from sociological studies on technoscientific practice and innovation up to the intersections of art and politics, or the analysis of social movements.
Pedro Jacobetty
Research Assistant
Pedro Jacobetty holds both a bachelor and master degree in Sociology from Lisbon University Institute (ISCTE-IUL) and is currently a PhD candidate in the Information and Knowledge Society Doctoral Programme of the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), Open University of Catalonia (UOC).
Arnau Monterde
Doctor in Information Society and Knowledge by the Open University of Catalunya. Technopolicy project coordinator of the research group Communication Networks and Social Change at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute since 2011 at the UOC. Participant Datanalysis15M research network. Investigate the emergence and evolution of movements in the network society from a perspective located and interdisciplinary, crossing different analysis methodologies. I also work with models and emerging forms of participation and democracy in network.
Andrea Rosales
Postdoctoral Researcher
Andrea Rosales received her PhD in Information Communication and Audiovisual Technologies at Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) with the dissertation, “Designing wearable and playful accessories to encourage free-play amongst school aged children” (2014). Previously she received her Interdisciplinary Master’s Degree in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media from the UPF and her Social Communication Degree from the Universidad del Valle.
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Javier Toret
Degree in Psychology from the University of Malaga. Works of philosophy, politics, psychology and technology. Investigates mutations of subjectivity and forms of communication, action and collective organization in the era of the network. He has coordinated the collective research project under the name: 'Technopolicy: the power of the connected crowds. The network # 15m system. A new paradigm: the policy distributed'.
Sarah Wagner
PhD Fellow
Sarah has been a PhD Fellow at the IN3 in the Information and Knowledge Society Doctorate Programme since 2012. Her research analyzes the position of indigenous communities within mobile telephony policy and industry structures from an interdisciplinary perspective.
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Juan Linares
Research interests: movements, networks and journalism. He holds a degree in Audiovisual Communication at University of Barcelona (UB). Master in Advanced Studies in Social Communication at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). PhD student in Communication at the Department of Communication (UPF).
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Marcela Canavarro
Visiting scholar
Doctorate in Digital Media with specialization in Journalism (University of Porto), Master in Communication and Culture (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), specialization in Project Planning for Digital and Interactive Media (Senac-Rio) and Diploma in Journalism (UFRJ) . Her general areas of interest are the critical Internet studies and digital methods applied to social research.
Master Thesis
Adrien Semail
Adrien Semail obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and Business Studies from the University of Edinburgh before pursuing a Masters in International Relations at l’Institut de Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI). His main interest is in information and communication technologies (ICTs) and democracy in developing countries.
Jéssica Zambrano
Jéssica is currently enrolled in the Master in Statistics and Operative Research, specializing in Business and Social Statistics at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC). Her interests revolve the management, analysis and interpretation of data on issues related to the economy, businesses and social studies.