Overcoming the Sociological Problematization of Latin America

Overcoming the Sociological Problematization of Latin America

Dimitri della Faille

Piece published on September 15, 2015 at: http://www.panoramas.pitt.edu/content/overcoming-sociological-problematization-latin-america

More than ten years ago I started to reflect on how sociology is seizing Latin America as an object of study. My goal was to acquire more knowledge about sociology in and about Latin America. But, perhaps at least as importantly, my goal was also to understand how sociology is representing the region and how it is participating in its transformation. At a more conceptual level, I was interested in how sociology selects social problems and suggests social change. Ultimately, this is helping me forge opinions about knowledge and social sciences.

For many reasons, some of which are presented in this text, I think Latin America should be protected from sociological problematization or the process by which social phenomena are represented in terms of problems. Here, I would like to reflect on social science and society. This is not just a summary of my major findings. I am using this summary as an excuse to discuss on the problematization of Latin America. Let me start by briefly summarizing some of my research results and then by reflecting on problematization and the colonialism of knowledge. To do so, I will be attempting to answer the question “Should we protect Latin America against sociology?”

Sociological Representations of Latin America

I did my dissertation on United States sociology about Latin America between 1945 and 1970, in the context of the Cold War. I did my post-doctoral research on Mexican sociological literature published between the 1980’s and the first decade of the 2000’s. I conducted this research using various methodologies including interviews, analysis of historical documents and computer assisted text analysis. This work has resulted in around ten scientific articles published in English, Spanish and French; which some of the references are found here below.

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Vidéo de l’équipe de l’UQO à la Simulation des Nations Unies de New York

L’équipe de l’Université du Québec en Outaouais qui a participé à la simulation des Nations Unies (National Model United Nations – NMUN) en 2014 à New York partage ses impressions dans un clip vidéo. São Tomé e Príncipe a été représenté par l’Université du Québec en Outaouais à la Simulation des Nations Unies (National Model United Nations – NMUN NY) à New York du 30 mars au 4 avril 2014.

Development Sociology Class at St Lawrence University in Canton, NY

On February 24, 2014 I gave a class on “neoliberal discourses” at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. Thanks to Xiaoshuo Hou for inviting me in her Development Sociology and Asian Studies undergraduate class. Coming with me where Vanessa Cotineau, Jaïka Minel and Otilia Puiggros, all graduate students at Université du Québec en Outaouais.