A Sociological Understanding of Neoliberal Discourses of Development

In this article, the author calls for a sociological understanding of neoliberal discourses of development and underdevelopment. The author criticizes the idea that the utterance of discourse is different than other social practices and also warns against understanding discourses solely as acts of deception. Using a critical stance, the author shows how ideologies are giving shape to development projects and how social change is effectively conducted through acts of communication. The author proposes different ways to analyze various discourses of neoliberal development. Giving several examples from the literature, he shows how discourse analysts have examined many aspects of neoliberal discourses of development and social change. Amongst ways to understand discourses of development the author presents the following: studying ethnical and racial biases, examining discourses as storytelling, looking at their specific stylistic codes, understanding discourses as social interaction and how they produce concerted actions, seeing them as fluxes and containers of ideas, criticizing their justification of social hierarchy and their reinforcing of social domination. Also are presented elements of examining statistics, machines and artefacts as elements of neoliberal discourses. The author calls for more militant uses of discourse analysis. In conclusion, the author also raises some methodological, ethical and epistemological issues of the analysis of discourses.

Publication available at https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02046915/document

 

Current and Upcoming Challenges in South-South Cooperation in the field of Social Statistics

(with Valérie La France-Moreau)

This article proposes to reflect on how a field of technical expertise is affected and could possibly be transformed through South-South cooperation. This article and its conclusions are based on literature review and our own research. Our research on the production, the analysis and the dissemination of social development statistics (education, health and poverty alleviation) has been conducted in Western and North Africa as well as South East Asia and Central America. We interviewed public servants from government agencies, for international organisation, from non-governmental organizations as well as specialists from the academia. Our goal is to reflect on South-South cooperation as a possible tool for emancipation and criticism of the hegemony of “Northern” countries in international organization and knowledge production. By examining cooperative praxis in these areas we attempt to yield information on the strategies used to claim ownership of the assessment methods and knowledge pertaining to the ideological dimensions of development. We conclude by saying that current South-South cooperation in the field of social statistics is not fully able to challenge global statistics regime and its inherent ideological flaws.

Publication available at: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02046911/document

Venciendo la problematización sociológica en América latina

Hace más de diez años comencé a reflexionar sobre cómo la sociología está tomando a América Latina como un objeto de estudio. A partir de ese momento, mi objetivo fue adquirir más conocimiento sobre la sociología latinoamericana afín de comprender cómo esta ciencia ha representado dicha región y cómo está participando en su transformación. A un nivel más conceptual, estuve interesado en saber cómo esta disciplina selecciona los problemas sociales y sugiere cambios. Finalmente, esto me ayudó a forjarme opiniones sobre el conocimiento y las ciencias sociales.

Por muchas razones, algunas de ellas presentadas a lo largo de este texto, considero que América Latina debería estar protegida de la problematización sociológica o del proceso por el cual los fenómenos sociales son representados en términos de problemas. Aquí, me gustaría reflexionar sobre la ciencia social y la sociedad. Esto no como un resumen de mis principales resultados, sino como una excusa para discutir sobre la problematización sociológica en América Latina.

Permítame comenzar resumiendo brevemente algunos de mis resultados de investigación y entonces reflexionar sobre la problematización y el colonialismo del conocimiento. Para esto, intentaré contestar a la pregunta: “¿Deberíamos proteger América Latina contra la sociología?”

Publicación disponible en https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01628058/document