FCT

R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Sociologia, Antropologia, Demografia e Geografia

Unidade de I&D

Center of Cultural Studies, language and Behavior [SOC-Norte-Porto-682] visitada em 20/11/2007

Classificação: Fair

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
This centre unites a relatively large group of researchers with quite different perspectives, ranging from national heritage to the marketing of tourism, behaviour, educational research, media. The panel appreciated the informative presentation of its activities. It has noted the large amount of PhD candidates (some externally recruited) attached to the research groups. These doctoral students sincerely expressed their satisfaction with their supervisors, the institutional support provided as well as for opportunities to exchange experiences on the occasion of doctoral seminars.
The panel considered that much of the unit’s output is of a descriptive and developmental nature and not embedded in more theoretical questions and research issues. While the amount of work conducted in marketable products in media and tourism projects is appreciable, it is clear that the formulation of scientifically relevant questions has still to be broached. Though some of the group’s results are of interest and not without practical implications, on the whole, they would not appear to belong directly to what is conventionally deemed to constitute scientific research.
Four groups constitute this unit.
The group «Culture, media, language and hypermedia studies» (682–2098), which is the outcome of the fusion of previous existing research groups, does not appear to have a sufficient level of integration. The impression is that the research in progress is highly individual. Even if it is said that these individual projects are linked by a general thematic, this is not precisely defined. Most of the publications are in journals edited by the university which hosts this unit. If the group is engaged in interesting developments on issues such as e-learning, translation, electronic publishing and language learning, the lack of scientific perspective properly so-called is evident. They publish 5 different journals, also on line, a fact which surprised the panel: is it really necessary? Does it not discourage efforts to publish in external (international) journals?
«Human development studies, health and quality of life» (682–2357) is a group that draws together people from different disciplines (sociology, psychology, social work and speech therapy). It is said that the group is «an institutional association» that has the firm intention of becoming an effective one…but the ways and means of realizing this goal appeared vague. Much of the presented work seems to be in the offing rather than actual.
As the two former groups, the «Behaviour and organizational studies» group (682–2492) rests on various projects (facial emotion expression, law and good practices, integration through sport, mobility among young people in Europe,…), between which the theoretical or paradigmatic link did not explicitly appears. Furthermore, the title of this group seems slightly misleading as most of the activity appears to revolve around tourism and is more practically than scientifically oriented. In the light of this dominant field the group seems polarized more by business concerns where it encounters success) than by a scientific research as such.
The group «Heritage, memory and identity» (682–2548) has also a very large spectre of study areas, from social memory and religious matters to violence, citizenship and archaeology. What is defined as the theoretical question sustaining this large variety of topics (a comparison between traditional and modern society and the problems induced by this change, particularly in terms of identity) is not very new and is presented in rather vague and general terms.
Each of these groups deserves FAIR together with the unit as a whole. In making such an evaluation, the panel does not imply that this unit has not realized worthwhile studies, mainly for the market, but it intends to underline that the criteria it was mandated to use referred to the existence of a scientific project, with rigorous theoretical proposition and paradigmatic framework, a characteristic that did not seem to be present in this unit.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
Behavior and Organizational Studies Research Group [RG-SOC-Norte-Porto-682-2492]
As the two former groups, the «Behaviour and organizational studies» group (682–2492) rests on various projects (facial emotion expression, law and good practices, integration through sport, mobility among young people in Europe), between which the theoretical or paradigmatic link did not explicitly appears. Furthermore, the title of this group seems slightly misleading as most of the activity appears to revolve around tourism and is more practically than scientifically oriented. In the light of this dominant field the group seems polarized more by business concerns where it encounters success) than by a scientific research as such.
Cultural, Media, Language and Hypermedia Studies Research Group [RG-SOC-Norte-Porto-682-2098]
The group «Culture, media, language and hypermedia studies» (682–2098), which is the outcome of the fusion of previous existing research groups, does not appear to have a sufficient level of integration. The impression is that the research in progress is highly individual. Even if it is said that these individual projects are linked by a general thematic, this is not precisely defined. Most of the publications are in journals edited by the university which hosts this unit. If the group is engaged in interesting developments on issues such as e-learning, translation, electronic publishing and language learning, the lack of scientific perspective properly so-called is evident. They publish 5 different journals, also on line, a fact which surprised the panel: is it really necessary? Does it not discourage efforts to publish in external (international) journals?
Heritage, memory and identities research group [RG-SOC-Norte-Porto-682-2548]
This group has a very large spectre of study areas, from social memory and religious matters to violence, citizenship and archaeology. What is defined as the theoretical question sustaining this large variety of topics (a comparison between traditional and modern society and the problems induced by this change, particularly in terms of identity) is not very new and is presented in rather vague and general terms.
Human Development Studies, Health and Quality of Life [RG-SOC-Norte-Porto-682-2357]
This is a group that draws together people from different disciplines (sociology, psychology, social work and speech therapy). It is said that the group is «an institutional association» that has the firm intention of becoming an effective one…but the ways and means of realizing this goal appeared vague. Much of the presented work seems to be in the offing rather than actual.