French Scholars in "Information and Communication Studies" (1975-2008)

Pascal Froissart, Hélène Cardy


In this paper we examine the evolution of "Sciences de l'information et de la communication" (SIC) studies in France since the discipline emerged in the 1960s. First, we distinguish the national particularities of these studies on a thematic level, by evaluating the curricular marriage of Information Sciences and Communication Sciences into a unified disciplinary field, and then on a structural level by analyzing the different categories of scholars ("pure" teachers in universities, "pure" researchers in CNRS, "half-teachers-half-researchers" in universities, etc.) Secondly, we portray the numerical evolution of scholars in comparison with other Social Science disciplines and include in this analysis the various categories of personnel. Using statistics and data provided by the French Education Department, we are able to quantify how communication studies in France have flourished by showing how rapidly the numbers of SIC scholars has grown; from 49 scholars in 1977, to more than 723 in 2008. Thirdly, because all civil service positions in France have been published since 1997, we are able to use qualitative details to draw a thematic landscape of university demand for SIC studies. It is worth noting that half of the positions in this field are offered in only four categories: theory (15 %), new technology and multimedia (14 %), good writing and presentation (11 %), and organizational communication (10 %). Finally, we look at SIC curriculums published in the last directory of French Scholars in Communication Studies (SFSIC 2001) to provide a glimpse of the current research themes being pursued and developed by SIC scholars. 


France; communication; media studies; information sciences; research; teaching; institution history; academic discipline

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Studies in Communication Sciences | ISSN: 1424-4896