sociology and anthropology of the media; popular cultures; users and audiences; fandom

Florencia García-Rapp

Department of Sociology and Social Work Applied Social Sciences
My research career

I am German, Argentinian and hold a PhD in Communication from the Pompeu Fabra University (extraordinary doctoral prize). In addition, I have a degree in audiovisual communication and a double master's degree in media cultures from the University of Paderborn, Germany. I worked at the University of Sheffield as a lecturer in "Media Audiences and Users" and as a research associate in the research group "Media, Policy and Culture" at the University of Antwerp (Department of Communication, Faculty of Social Sciences). I did research stays at Fordham University, New York and Deakin University, Melbourne and was an associate professor at the German universities Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Universität Paderborn, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, and Filmuniversität Babelsberg. I am currently working as a Juan de la Cierva Incorporación postdoctoral fellow in the department of sociology and social work. I am accredited as an ANECA-accredited tenured lecturer and my career includes more than 20 conference presentations, 250 appointments, 1000 hours of teaching experience, as well as a period of maternity leave.

My research

I study contemporary socio-cultural dimensions of online communication practices, contextualising the use of media in everyday life from vernacular perspectives. I seek to interpret cultural practices and representations that underpin the construction of subjectivities, analysing the relevance of norms, rules and hierarchies as key elements in the dynamic production and reproduction of social realities. I explore, from an anthropological perspective, the configuration of legitimacy, reciprocity, well-being and affection in digital communities.

My work, framed in interpretive and constructionist epistemologies, has been published by Q1 SJR and JCR indexed journals in the Humanities and Social Sciences such as "Celebrity Studies", "Television and New Media" and "Journal of Contemporary Ethnography".

I question prescriptive and deterministic modes that quickly classify people, cultures and objects of fandom as normative/resistant/legitimate/trivial. Rather, I approach audiences (users, fans, citizens), as the study not of distant "others", but of ourselves in our juxtaposed, dynamic and integrated roles and practices. As there is no paradigm-free way of seeing, I propose to theorise by tolerating ambivalence, contradictions and acknowledging the complexity of social worlds and human interactions.

My vision is to practice and defend a reflexive attitude towards the openness, inclusiveness and diversity of perspectives that we hold in our academic discourses of the socio-cultural. I advocate for research that recognises particularities within global media landscapes, focusing on local, situated and culturally relativistic perspectives.