Communication for Social Change


Call for Papers | Communication for Social Change

Communication for Social Change (CSC) explores the cultural, ethical, and critical approaches meant for strategic interventions toward social change in collective affairs of social groups and communities, conferring to a nominal standard of improvement. CSC brings into question the issues of class, culture, context, and power to explore the role of mediated knowledge not just in developing communities but also within the development community itself (Pamment, 2015). Media and Communication scholars have continuously investigated the varying modes through which public discourse intervenes in social, cultural, economic and political life to confirm, reform, or transform the status quo. Rather than grappling between the orthodox  'results-oriented, institutionalised approaches and the complexity of context,' contemporary CSC scholarship apprehends interdisciplinary approaches in theory and research vetting prospects of empowerment and social justice (Thomas, 2015). CSC has varying scopes when development policies and practices accentuate hegemonic domination and unilateral decision-making. The critical approaches of development practitioners, academics, and activists have created spaces where people, as well as communities, can define development on their own and give meaning to and claim their fundamental right to life (Haider et al., 2021).

CSC is a broad area and includes different communication applications within a continuum that ranges from mainstream to radical (Thomas & Fliert, 2014). We have seen various approaches in the field of CSC in the past years. Though there is no universally valid and widely accepted definition, three conceptualisations have prevailed regarding communication for social change (Beltrán, 2008). The first is that modernisation can achieve economic growth, and the media can bring this change. The second is development support communication, and the third is alternative communication for democratic development. CSC has been practised under various names such as communication for development (C4D), Information, Communication, and Technology for Development (ICT4D), learning for social change, social and behavioural communication, etc. These different approaches look into various ways of directed and non-directed social change.

Today, the leading scholars and the post-structural, postmodern, postcolonial tenets oppose logocentric views and universal truths (Melkote & Steeves, 2015). Cultural identity, change through human agency, deconstruction of the dominant ideology, etc., have been encouraged by scholars in the field of communication in directed social change. Participatory paradigm and associated models in CSC focused on local communities to create development projects to their own objectives. However, even in models where participation rates are high, Empowerment-related development communication strategies are a core construct for social justice. Such communication paradigms require more than mere diffusion of information and technical innovations. A platform for the discussion of empowerment is needed by considering the concept and practice of power and control in social settings.

We are especially interested in papers that address – in theoretical, conceptual, methodological, or empirical terms

- Political economy of CSC in the micro, meso and macro level

- Epistemological, methodological and theoretical perspectives on social change, Social Justice and Empowerment

- Power inequity, poverty, and the denial of fundamental human rights.

- Discrimination, lack of education, and inadequate employment opportunities.

- Critical Approaches to Media, Communication and Development

- Tensions between 'media for development' and 'communication for development.'

- The role of communication in social change and transformation

- Participatory communication

- Social accountability and state-citizen relations

- Gender relations and development

Important dates
- Abstract submission: October 1, 2022 (Abstract length should not exceed 250 words)
- Intimation of selected abstracts: October 15, 2022
- Full Paper submission: December 5, 2022 (Full paper should not exceed 8500 words)
- Notification of selected papers for peer review: December 10, 2022
- Intimation of final acceptance/correction/rejection: December 30, 2022
- Publication of the issue: January 15,  2023