Theoretical Frames and Institutional Constraints: A Synopsis About Chilean Communication Research in the 21st Century

Claudia Lagos Lira


Using official data from the Chilean system of science and leading local journals, this article provides a historical overview of the main contemporary trends in Chilean communication research since the 2000s. The field in Chile seems to be expanding, with stable funding, stronger institutionalization, and an increase in better trained researchers. However, this development shows many paradoxes: Despite the valuable insights recent studies in communication have provided to better understand the Chilean communication landscape, they are, rather, applied research, testing global or international theoretical frames to local problems in communication. I argue that the institutional, political, and economic constraints have strongly shaped the possibilities of expanding contemporary communication research in Chile, particularly regarding its theoretical contributions. Therefore, current Chilean communication research seems a work-in-progress project, far from its substantial contributions to the international field in the 1960s and 1970s.


communication research, Chile, history of communication, institutionalization

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