Media & Culture

=mcm3 | Prof. Dr. Veronica Barassi

Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Veronica Barassi, an anthropologist by training and Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Chair of Media and Culture (=mcm3) specializes in different aspects of the relationship between media, technology, and cultural change from the impacts of digital transformations on communication processes (e.g., social media and democracy; digital communication and journalism; surveillance and hacking cultures; digital transformations in organizations and society) to the investigation of the cultural and social implications of artificial intelligence and emerging technologies (e.g. human computer communication, LLMs and cultural representations, algorithmic bias and cultural meanings). With a TED talk of more than 2-million views, international mainstream media appearances, and evidence submitted to governments and international agencies, Prof. Barassi and her team provide a culturally sensitive, human-centered and empirically grounded perspective into the techno-social transformations of our times.

Research

At the =mcm3 we conduct interdisciplinary and cross-cultural research, which is grounded in the belief that we need culturally sensitive, human-centered and context specific approaches to study the technological and communication transformations of our times. Our area of expertise is rooted in qualitative methodologies (especially ethnographic methods, participatory action research, focus groups, in-depth interviews) but we often combine these techniques with quantitative methods (surveys; social media analysis), and other methodologies (platform analysis, textual analysis, visual research). 

Our research agenda develops at the intersection of two different areas of study: the social impacts of AI and media and social change. Within these areas over the last years, we developed projects that looked at the relationship between AI and children’s human rights (e.g. Child Data Citizen Project; Hello Barbie?), that studied the problem of AI Failures and Errors and their impacts on society (e.g. The Human Error Project); or that investigated how organizational cultures are adapting to digital transformations (e.g. Data Privacy in Swiss Law Firms Project). We are particularly interested in the development of projects that focus on tech for social impact, NGOs and civil society communication, technological change in the Global South, journalism and press freedom, responsible communication on social media.
 

Research areas

Media technologies and platforms play a fundamental role in shaping our public debate and democratic processes. We develop research, teaching and consultancy projects, which engage with the following themes: journalism and democracy, civil society and NGO communication; local and community media; media representation and ethics.

From governments to businesses, from the health sector to education, AI cultures and data systems are transforming everyday life. We develop research, teaching and consultancy projects, which engage with the following themes: emerging technologies organizations and everyday life; human and machine communication; cultural understandings of AI failure; LLMs and cultural representations, algorithmic bias and cultural meanings; children and machine interaction.

In our AI and data driven societies we need to critically consider the relationship between data privacy, data justice and inequality. We focus on projects that engage with the following themes: impacts of AI on human rights; algorithmic profiling and algorithmic bias; social understandings of data privacy; data rights and data justice; importance of privacy by design/privacy by default models; marginal communities and data inequality. 

From fake news to self-representation, from organizational communication to political campaigns, social media have radically transformed our society and our democracies. We develop research, teaching and consultancy projects which engage with the following themes: social media algorithms; fake news and filter bubbles; challenges and opportunities of social media communication.

Research projects

Teaching

At the =mcm3 we strongly believe in the importance of research led teaching. Our pedagogical mission is to empower students to develop an empirically engaged and social scientific grounded understanding of media and communications studies. We lead the Certificate Programme Digital Communication and Journalism (DCJ/DKJ), an additional qualification for HSG master’s students who are interested in journalistic research and writing techniques as well as corporate communication, public relations, and the use of digital platforms. The =mcm3 team also offers a variety of courses in the “Media” area of the Contextual Studies Programme at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Courses include: Social Media in Context, Global Media and Communications, Big Data and Artificial intelligence in an Algorithmic Society and others. Prof. Barassi also teaches the SIGMA Responsible Digital Transformations course which is co-taught online at international level with 5 other Business Universities in the world (including WU Wien, Hitotsubashi University, ESADE, Universite Paris Dauphine, Singapore Management University). She also teaches courses in the Master in Management, Organizations and Cultures (MOK) and at PhD level. 

Insights into current and past courses:

Executive Education

We welcome collaborations and consultancies in any of our areas of expertise: strategic social media communication; design ethnography; qualitative research and organizational cultures; AI ethics and human-centered communication strategies; children-centred tech design and data privacy. Prof. Barassi’s work on children, AI and human rights in particular has been at the root of policy advice at both international and national levels, and collaborations with national associations (e.g. the Italian association of Pediatrics), and non-for-profit work (e.g. Save the Children, 5Rights Foundation and others). We are also engaged in executive education. Currently we offer a Leadership program for journalists (entitled “Leadership – Als Chef/in überzeugen”) in collaboration with “MAZ – Die Schweizer Journalistenschule” from Lucern and “Akademie für Publizistik” from Hamburg. The Leadership program for journalists addresses editors-in-chief, managing editors and executive leaders in the media industry who have many years of experience in media work, but find themselves confronted with new leadership roles and business management tasks. In addition to that over the last year, Prof. Barassi designed and taught modules for the St. Gallen Executive School of Management, Technology and Law on AI Ethics for Business, together with Dr. Kimberley Kernbach who is working on an executive course on strategic social media communication. 

Insights into executive education:

Team des Lehrstuhls =mcm3

Veronica Barassi

Prof. Ph.D.

Direktorin

SHSS-HSG / MCM
Blumenbergplatz 9

9000 St. Gallen

Philip Di Salvo

PhD

PostDoc Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter

SHSS-HSG / MCM
Blumenbergplatz 9

9000 St Gallen

Kimberley Kernbach

M.A.

Adm. Programmleitung DKJ

SHSS-HSG
Müller-Friedberg-Strasse 6/8

9000 St Gallen

Rahi Patra

Doktorandin & Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin

Marie Poux-Berthe

Doktorandin & Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin

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