The Culture & Lifestyles branch of the Social Trends Institute aims to identify and study contemporary cultural trends with an interdisciplinary and international perspective. To this end, STI organizes Experts Meetings, assembling a group of scholars who contribute to the analysis of a selected cultural phenomenon. Although the Culture & Lifestyles branch encourages projects of a broad scope and on many different themes, much of the current research has been developed within two broad thematic perspectives: the construction of identity and civil societies in the conditions of an increasingly globalized world. Ana Marta González
of the University of Navarra is the academic leader of the Culture & Lifestyles branch.
The following Experts Meetings have been organized under STI's Culture & Lifestyles branch: Communication Technologies and Lifestyles
Some dozen communications experts, media theorists, psychologists, sociologists and philosophers from all over Europe will gather in Barcelona May 16-18, 2013 to delve into the myriad ways modern communications technologies effect individuals and society.Globalization and the Common Good
This Experts Meeting gathered a small group of North-American and European scholars for a trans-Atlantic conversation about the limits and the opportunities of the idea of the common good in a global context. The conversation was organized around two fundamental questions: “What is the nature and structure of the common good in a globalized world?” and “What difference might a common good perspective make to current ways of thinking about the ordering of political and public life in a global context?”
The meeting was organized with and held at the University of Virginia's Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture from April 19-21, 2012. It was the first of STI's meetings to be launched by a public lecture. Toronto's Michael Ignatieff spoke to a university-wide audience on "Re-Imagining a Global Ethic" at UVA's Garrett Lecture Hall. The lecture was co-sponsored by the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.Being Human in a Consumer Society
From March 31-April 2, 2011, STI invited some of the world's most renowned sociologists, philosophers, and business educators to Barcelona to discuss the implications of the modern consumption paradigm.Construction of New Realities in Medicine
Experts from such diverse fields as psychology, sociology, the history of medicine, bioethics and law presented papers in this meeting in Barcelona from April 15-17, 2010. They were joined by discussants expert in bioethics, social and cultural theory, and philosophy to consider the relationship between the social and medical realms and medicalization in a range of areas such as: re-emerging diseases; addiction; "enhancement;" mental health; abortion and euthanasia.Care and Professions in a Globalized World
At this Experts Meeting, held in Barcelona from November 5-7, 2009 and chaired by Professor Ana Marta González, STI took on the challenge of examining the tensions between the philosophy of care and modern society and the growing tensions within the caring professions themselves (e.g. nursing, social work, teaching, domestic care, child care, etc). Family Structures and Globalization in Africa
As part of a larger effort to study the impact of globalization on family structures, STI held an Experts Meeting to discuss the issue in the African context. Ana Marta González led the meeting from March 6-8, 2008 at IESE Business School in Barcelona.
Experts on Africa, including scholars from Africa, America and Europe, met to discuss the effect globalization is having on African family and cultural life. Among the questions addressed were: How do gender roles affect social change in developing economies, specifically in African contexts? From the perspective of human rights and dignity, what are the requirements for and impediments to progress for African women and society? And what are the cultural implications? Could an “African path” suggest new ways of linking family and economic growth?
The papers presented have been published as Frontiers of Globalization: Kinship and Family Structures in Africa
.Gender Identities in a Globalized World
Confronted with the changing way society views gender, STI undertook an Experts Meeting to explore the roots and elements of modern gender identity. The experts gathered at the Hotel Berna in Barcelona from October 12-14, 2006. This topic, often ignored or dismissed by the old guard in academia, was discussed respectfully and with a view for the mental, spiritual, physical and emotional needs of the whole person.
Led by Professor Ana Marta González, many questions were asked and discussed among the diverse group of experts. Some included: What alternative ways have people found to develop and reinforce their gender identity? What is the role of the body and of social interaction in the definition of gender identity? In what sense have modernization and globalization affected the redefinition of modern identity and the proliferation of different lifestyles?
The varied approaches to these questions are contained in the resulting book
, which bears the same title as the meeting. Fashion, Image, and Identity
On November 26, 2004, STI held its first Culture & Lifestyles Experts Meeting at the Jolly Hotel in Rome. University of Navarra Professor Ana Marta González presented a background paper and participants were invited to write a paper with their views.
This private event explored questions such as: Why has fashion become so notorious in modern society? Is fashion linked mainly to consumerism? Has fashion anything to do with social identity? What is the best way to preserve subjectivity in an objectifying world?
See the resulting book, Fashion and Identity: A Multidisciplinary Approach
The book has been republished by Berg as Identities through Fashion