Investing in Investigation

25 Oct 2017

Three of the eight young researchers embarking this fall on the Master’s in Social Science Research at UNAV have received a grant from the Social Trends Institute. And one of last year’s grant recipients has won an academic prize for her work.

Congratulations to María Fernanda Novoa Jaso, who received her Master’s degree in the program’s first year.  The magazine Dígitos selected her Master’s thesis, titled “Femininity in Family Sitcoms: Representation and Stereotypes,” for the II Pre-Doctoral Research Prize. The magazine is published by the University of Valencia’s Department of Language Theory and Communication Sciences.

Novoa will present her research on November 15 at the IX Congress on Digital Communication in Valencia, which this year will focus on the representation of women on the Internet and media.

Novoa, now studying for a PhD, centered her Master's research on the representation of the maternal role in the American sitcom Modern Family. Among her conclusions: the mother is portrayed as the transmitter of values within the family, and is in charge of major decisions.  Yet this role does not have much recognition outside the family. 

This scholarly recognition of Novoa’s Master’s work will surely be an inspiration to the incoming class. This year, three students received STI grants, which were established to support young researchers in areas of particular interest to STI: fashion studies; the cultural impact of globalization; family policies; and care professions.

They take up their studies under the auspices of the Master’s program in Social Science Research (MSSR, or MICS in its Spanish acronym) at the University of Navarra. The program, accredited by ANECA (Spanish Acronym for the National Quality Assessment and Accreditation Agency), is coordinated by the Institute for Culture and Society with the direct collaboration of the departments of Communication, Law, Education and Psychology, Nursing, and Philosophy.

The MSSR is offered as a first step for students who want to take up interdisciplinary research in the social sciences. Their program of studies offers concentrations in six fields: Communication, Geography, Linguistics, Education, Law and Nursing.

This year’s Social Trends Institute grant recipients come from three countries and three different disciplines.

Gabriela Pilar García, from Perú, got her undergraduate degree in psychology, concentrating on the family. She has researched the relationship between family structure and the resilience of adolescents living in poverty.  In the MSSR program, she will continue to explore family issues. 

Another STI grant recipient, Teresa Isabel Espinel from Ecuador, did her undergraduate studies in Music, and has worked as a teacher.

Regina Guzmán got her undergraduate degree in Mexico in finance, later studying philosophical anthropology. She will direct her MSSR project towards the area of work-family balance. Guzmán plans to conduct a comparative analysis among women university professors, considering the ideals they harbor and the realities they face in terms of the conciliation of work and family.