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Communication, Solidarity, and Cooperation in the Digital Era

Comunicação, Solidariedade e Cooperação na Era Digital
Víctor M. Marí Sáez
Tradução de Madalena Oliveira
p. 1-4

Marí Sáez, V. M. (Ed.). (2022). Comunicación solidaria en el capitalismo digital. Teorías, metodologías y prácticas. Gedisa.

Este artigo é uma tradução do:
Comunicação, Solidariedade e Cooperação na Era Digital [pt]

Notas da redacção

DOI: 10.17231/comsoc.44(2023).5231
Submetido: 01/08/2023 - Aceite: 19/10/2023

Texto integral

  • 1 Digicom2030 is the acronym for the research project of the State Research Agency of Spain PID2019-1 (...)

1The presented collaborative work encompasses various pivotal ideas driven by the research team of the Digicom20301 project, which has included contributions from a diverse array of experts from both Spanish and Latin American contexts. Among the principal ideas, there is one embracing what could be defined as a sociocentric perspec- tive on technopolitical processes (Marí Sáez, 2004; McQuail, 1983/1991), whereby the focus of social intervention is on emancipatory social processes, within which the uses and appropriations of digital technologies are inserted. This sociocentric perspective distances itself from the technocentric perspective, which suggests from a technological determinism standpoint that technology is at the heart of the processes of social change. Technocentrism is as seductive as it is inoperative in achieving the objective of generat- ing structural change processes and has been described, from complementary perspec- tives, by the term technological solutionism (Morozov, 2013).

2As proposed in the subtitle of this work, the book contains three main sections. The first section develops the key theoretical framework for understanding digital soli- darity communication, incorporating new contributions that have emerged in this field in recent years. The second section reflects on the methodologies that contribute (or not) to academic and citizen intervention for more rigorous social research that is more attentive to the innovations that come from the digital aspect. The last part of the book includes a section of case studies that address digital citizen practices in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the analysis of two non-governmental development organisations (NGOs) from a communicational perspective.

3In more detail the book is divided into seven chapters. The first chapter, “Comunicación, Redes Sociales y Emancipación Social en el Capitalismo Digital” (Communication, Social Networks, and Social Emancipation in Digital Capitalism; Víctor M. Marí Sáez), provides a global analysis of NGOs and their communicative practices, serving as an entryway to the entire work. This chapter begins by reviewing the diversity of theoretical approaches from which solidarity communication has been analysed in the Spanish context in recent years. It discusses labels such as “communication for solidarity and cooperation” (Erro Sala & Burgui, 2010), “empowerment and ecosocial communica- tion” (Chaparro Escudero, 2009), or “transgressive communication for social change” (Nos Aldás et al., 2019). This plurality of labels has an ambivalent interpretation, as it indicates the richness of nuances in the field and certain epistemological weaknesses (Marí Sáez, 2021). The chapter reinterprets Spanish solidarity communication over the past 40 years to identify a dual reductionist tendency, even in the age of social media: an emphasis on a perspective of communication centred on the transmission of informa- tion and the predominance of the technocentric perspective mentioned earlier.

4The second chapter, “Las Precarias Relaciones Entre Comunicación, Cooperación y Cultura. Una Mirada Panorámica Desde los Informes del Estado de la Cultura en España (2011-2021)” (The Precarious Relationships Between Communication, Cooperation and Culture. A Panoramic View From the State Reports of Culture in Spain [2011-2021]; Patricia Corredor Lanas), analyses, from a cultural perspective, the participation of civil society in the fields of communication and culture. The author concludes that a lost dec- ade has passed regarding institutional and State support for cultural creation in Spain. The same can be said concerning gender equality in cultural matters, where significant glass ceilings still exist.

5The third chapter, titled “Imaginarios Decoloniales de la Comunicación y Transiciones Ecosociales y Feministas en la Era Digital” (Decolonial Imaginaries of Communication and Ecosocial and Feminist Transitions in the Digital Age; Manuel Chaparro Escudero and Susana de Andrés del Campo), reflects on the anthropocentric, androcentric, and Eurocentric discourses of mass media from an alternative perspective. The authors pro- pose other meanings of communication that favour an ecosocial and feminist transi- tion. The chapter takes into account various tendencies that have gained importance in the field of alternative communication in recent years, such as degrowth approaches (Latouche, 2022) or the decolonial turn (Maldonado-Torres & Cavooris, 2017).

6The fourth chapter, entitled “Coolture, Periodismos Mutantes y Soberanía Comunicacional” (Coolture, Mutant Journalisms, and Communication Sovereignty; Omar Rincón), proposes a fusion of the digital, new ethics (coolture), the digital revolution, and a type of journalism (described as mutant) that is not limited to the logic of hegemonic media but rather aims at a communication that appeals to emotions, discourses, and popular interventions.

7The fifth chapter, “¿Cómo Se Investigan, Desde la Academia, las Prácticas Comunicativas de las Oenegés? Tendencias y Confluencias en la Era Digital” (How Are NGOs’ Communicative Practices Investigated From the Academy? Tendencies and Confluences in the Digital Age; Miguel Vicente Mariño and Eva Campos Domínguez), addresses, from the perspective of research methodologies, the tensions and challenges of digital solidarity communication in the face of current topical phenomena such as big data. The authors acknowledge that research in the solidarity sector faces the challenge of incorporating new methodologies focused on analysing digital communication with greater intensity.

8The sixth chapter, entitled “Análisis Crítico del Discurso Solidario y Marcos Gubernamentales. Estudio de Caso de Oxfam Intermón y de la Cruz Roja” (Critical Analysis of Solidarity Discourse and Government Frameworks. Case Study of Oxfam Intermón and Cruz Roja; Gérard Fernández Smith and Hanae Trola Skalli), analyses the messages of NGOs and their communication for development and social change. For this purpose, the authors implement a relevant methodology proposed by van Dijk (2003). Thus, the fieldwork allows for identifying solidarity discourses, ideological categories, and govern- ment frameworks of two of the most prominent and impactful NGOs at the national and international levels from a qualitative perspective.

9The seventh and final chapter, titled “La Pandemia del Coronavirus en China y España y el Edu-Entretenimiento Como Estrategia Comunicativa Frente a la Desinformación” (The Coronavirus Pandemic in China and Spain and Edu-Entertainment as a Communication Strategy Against Misinformation; Yiheng Wang, Clara Martins do Nascimento, Víctor Mari, and José Berenguel Fernández), focuses on communicative initiatives from citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic through a case study. The analysis perspective is interest- ing insofar as it reveals how, in the first months of confinement (in 2020), the limits of institutional and governmental discourse to convey healthcare measures to the popula- tion were supplemented and completed by edu-communicative initiatives of healthcare launched by citizens created outside of any social organisation or public institution.

10In each chapter and the book, the analyses are complemented by susceptible pro- posals for alternative action, which can be summarised into three points (pp. 24–30). Firstly, there is a necessity to think more and better about communicational critiques of digital capitalism by social organisations and academia. The frenetic activism, the pri- oritisation of the urgent over the important, or the excessive bureaucratisation are hin- drances that restrain the construction of thought and action with sufficient transforma- tive depth. Secondly, the excessive fragmentation of the Ngo-isation of solidarity (Álvarez, 2009; Petras, 1999) prevents the necessary and wanted social and political articulation of transformative action. Finally, in the face of the colonising advance of the commodifica- tion of communication, thinking of communication as a commons is an urgent alterna- tive to be promoted. Working on this logic of global public goods allows, not by chance, a return to one of the original meanings that the word communication has had — the Latin communis — which has been distorted, blurred, or even lost over the years.

Agencia Estatal de Investigación de España (PID2019-106632GB-I00/ AEI/10.13039/501100011033). IP: Víctor Manuel Marí Sáez and Unión Europea-Next Generation/Ministerio de Universidades de España (RD 289/2021 y UNI/551/2021), Universidad de Cádiz (UCA/ R155REC/2021).

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Álvarez, S. (2009). Beyond NGO-ization? Reflections from Latin America. Development, 52(2), 175–184.

Chaparro Escudero, M. (2009). Comunicación para el empoderamiento y comunicación social. La necesaria creación de nuevos imaginarios. Perspectivas de la Comunicación, 2(1), 146–158.

Erro Sala, J., & Burgui, T. (Eds.). (2010). Comunicando para la solidaridad y la cooperación. Cómo salir de la encrucijada. Foro de Comunicación, Educación y Ciudadanía.

Latouche, S. (2022). La décroissance. Humensis.

Maldonado-Torres, N., & Cavooris, R. (2017). The decolonial turn. In J. Poblete (Ed.), New approaches to Latin American studies (pp. 111–127). Routledge.

Marí Sáez, V. (Ed.). (2004). La red es de todos: Cuando los movimientos sociales se apropian de la red. Editorial Popular.

Marí Sáez, V. (2021). Pensar la comunicación para el cambio social en español aquí y ahora. Arbor, 197(801), Article a615.

McQuail, D. (1991). Introducción a la teoría de la comunicación de masas (P. Ducher, Trans.). Paidós. (Original work published 1983)

Morozov, E. (2013). To save everything, click here. The folly of technological solutionism. Public Affairs.

Nos Aldás, E., Farné, A., & Al-Najjar, T. (2019). Justicia social, culturas de paz y competencias digitales: Comunicación para una ciudadanía crítica global en la educación superior. Revista Internacional de Educación para la Justicia Social, 8(1), 43–62.

Petras, J. (1999). NGOs: In the service of imperialism. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 29(4), 429–440.

van Dijk, T. (2003). Ideología y discurso. Una introducción multidisciplinaria. Ariel.

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1 Digicom2030 is the acronym for the research project of the State Research Agency of Spain PID2019-106632GB-IOO en- titled Digital Solidarity Communication. Analysis of the Imaginaries, Discourses and Communicative Practices of NGOs in the Horizon of the 2030 Agenda. For more information, please visit:

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Para citar este artigo

Referência do documento impresso

Víctor M. Marí Sáez, «Communication, Solidarity, and Cooperation in the Digital Era»Comunicação e sociedade, 44 | 2023, 1-4.

Referência eletrónica

Víctor M. Marí Sáez, «Communication, Solidarity, and Cooperation in the Digital Era»Comunicação e sociedade [Online], 44 | 2023, posto online no dia 21 dezembro 2023, consultado o 22 junho 2024. URL:

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Víctor M. Marí Sáez

Víctor Marí Saéz is a tenured professor at the University of Cádiz, Spain. He has a bachelor of arts in Information Sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid (Spain) and a PhD in Journalism from the University of Seville (Spain). He is the lead- er of the Comunicación y Ciudadanía Digital research group and the principal investiga- tor of the project Digital Solidarity Communication. Analysis of the Imaginaries, Discourses and Communicative Practices of NGOs in the Horizon of the 2030 Agenda (2020–2024), PID2019-106632GB-IOO.
Address: Universidad de Cádiz, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y de la Comunicación, Campus de Jerez, Avenida de la Universidad nº 4, 11406 Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz (España)

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Apenas o texto pode ser utilizado sob licença CC BY 4.0. Outros elementos (ilustrações, anexos importados) são "Todos os direitos reservados", à exceção de indicação em contrário.

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