Cécile Méadel has devoted most of her work to the uses of communication technologies. Originally trained as an historian, she has focused on the genealogy of the media (radio, HDTV, computing) and especially the way in which designers, retailers and users collectively negotiate technological and political options that subsequently become irreversible, at least for some time, and can redefine organizations and professional or individual practices. Moving on from the design of technologies to their uses, she investigated devices that allow mutual adjustment between a means of communication, the professionals specialized in it, its resources and its users. This has led her to study market intermediaries (advertisers, pollsters) and the construction of uses; how, in their behaviours and justifications, consumers reflect evaluations of the goods or services proposed by firms, journalists, advertisers, designers, etc.
Cécile Méadel is currently working on sociopolitical forms of organization of the Internet and public debates on it. This work has two dimensions. First, she and Madeleine Akrich are researching electronic discussion groups on health-related subjects. Their aim is to analyse the forms of interaction created through this medium, that lead to a reshaping of the political sphere in the broad sense of the term. Second, she is exploring the issue of Internet governance both to elucidate the articulation between its modes of organization and technical, political, legal, economic and social techniques, and to analyse the role of actors and their participation in the elaboration of the common rule.