lunes, septiembre 12, 2011

Crystallizations. Some notes about Mexico, Spain and the US Research

Este artículo en español lo tienes aquí

The Communication Biannual is done (Puebla, Mexico, September’ 2011). Now, I want to think a little bit about the Mexican, the US and the Spanish researches. I will develop just a few notes. I don´t pretend to be specific at all. This is just an opinion article. Just that.

Strategic communication has been the core of the convention. Strategic communication has been developed in a transdisciplinar way. I never saw something similar. Strategic communication is a step more complex than the materialist and, sometimes, unidirectional organizational communication. Sandra Mazzoni, who offered the most suggestive conference i have ever heard, integrates the levels of communication, the different paradigms, the methodologies and propose the first real communicological analysis of human interactions. Hurray! We have talked a thousand of times about the necessity of integrating different paradigms, methodologies, and levels of analysis. But we don’t do it. Too complex. Too different. Too polemic. But this Argentinian researcher has done it. And she is working with it for several decades in the professional world of agriculture (her institute has more than 7.000 people working on it).

Jesus Galindo, from GUCOM, made the perfect contextualization of the spakers. Rafael Alberto Perez keeps innovating in this field. And Octavio Islas, who is re-discovering McLuhan (he is in the organization of the next convention about McLuhan in New York with the Media Ecology Association) proposed something simply brilliant: to integrate the thought of Marcuse and McLuhan for explaining the new digital revolution.

Mexico has an extraordinary potential for developing theories, generalizations, and understanding sociocultural approaches. On the other hand, the US uses methodologies in a really rigorous way. But Mexico is weaker in methodology. And the US is weaker in the development of generalizations; American research is too dependent on data. And here is the sad situation. The US doesn’t look to LatinAmerica (cultural egocentrism that characterizes the academic world as well). And Mexico is still thinking that the communicative US approach is functionalist, materialist, and unidirectional. In one word, that the US research simplifies the communicative process. But this is not like that. The Department of Communication of the University of Colorado is a good example with researchers like Deetz, Craig, Simonson, Taylor or Ackerman. All of them understand communicative processes in a symbolic and complex way and are experts ethnographers, pragmatists or qualitative researchers. NCA's conventions could be a good example of this qualitative trend as well. On the other hand, how many theorists from Latinamerica that have developed their theories out of the US are well known by the US field of communication? I would say just a few.

What about Spain? We make a good integration of theory and methodology, but we don’t have the theoretical potential of Mexico, or the methodological potential of the US. We would be in the middle of both of them.

At the end, I choose, apart of Spain, of course (cause it is my homeland :-)), Mexico and the US, or the US and Mexico, nevermind. Discovering the human side of the culture and talking with their people are the best ways for overcoming old historical disputes, wrong political elections and dehumanized cultural stereotypes. Knowing people apart of political and economic systems and integrating both fields (latinamerican and anglosaxon) would be like a dream come true. Does someone want to try it?