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  • 2015-09-23

    Media scholar Nick Couldry awarded an honorary doctorate by Södertörn University

    World-leading media and culture scholar from the UK, Nick Couldry, is to be awarded an honorary doctorate by Södertörn University in Stockholm, Sweden. He is renowned for his research into the power of the media, not least into the implications of media representations and media values being perceived as an unchallengeable reality.

    “Nick Couldry has been a great inspiration to researchers, teachers and students at Södertörn University for many years. He has also worked as international research adviser and has made significant contributions to building research networks. For these reasons, we are delighted to award him this honorary doctorate,” says Gunilla Gunner, Chair of the Faculty Board at Södertörn University.

    Picture of Nick CouldryThis will be the third time an honorary doctorate is awarded by Södertörn University. This honour is bestowed upon people who have made particularly significant contributions to their field. Last year’s recipient was Rosa Taikon, famed for her work on Romani rights and as a silversmith. The previous year's honorary doctor was Piotr Sztompka, the distinguished Polish professor of sociology.

    This year’s honorary doctor, Nick Couldry, is a professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is one of the world’s foremost media scholars, and his theories on the media as practice, media rituals and the media’s power to define our political and social reality have been of great importance for international media research.

    He is also deeply involved in issues relating to the media and ethics, and is a lead author for the “International Panel on Social Progress”, which aims to create a foundation on which world leaders can build policies based on global justice and ethical sustainability.

    Nick Couldry has worked as a visiting researcher at the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), and is also one of the founders of a European network for doctoral education, along with teachers from Media and Communication Studies at Södertörn University.

    “It is always a great honour to receive an honorary doctorate, but it is a particular pleasure to receive this honour from Södertörn, a fine new university where I have had so many good friends and intellectual partners since its founding,” says Nick Couldry.

    Nick Couldry will receive his honorary doctorate on 27 November at the university’s annual Commencement Ceremony, at which new professors are inaugurated and doctoral degrees awarded.

    Lecture by Nick Couldry

    “THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF REALITY – REALLY!”
    Media scholars have been familiar for 20 years with analysing how media institutions construct social reality through reality programming. This remains an important topic, since the norms reproduced through such programming can be strongly embedded in everyday practice. In the era of pervasive social media platforms, critical media scholars face an additional challenge: to address a new corporate challenge of unprecedented boldness, which is to construct and manage an infrastructure for the production of the social itself. The apparently liberatory discourse around such platforms has been deconstructed (eg Van Dijck 2010, 2013), but the breadth of this ambition to appropriate the social (Mejias 2013) still needs to be fully grasped. My lecture will ask: how do we think about this ambition, and how do we begin to identify ways to think and act beyond it?

    The general public, staff, students and the media are welcome to attend.
    The lecture will be given in English.
    Time: 27 November, 13:00-14:15
    Place: Södertörn University, room MA 624, level 6 of the Moa Building, Alfreds Nobels allé 7, Flemingsberg, Stockhol, Sweden