Jaime Ríos Burga: Transcultural Sociology


Towards a Transcultural Sociology of Life:
A Reflection on Peru Pre-ALAS 2015

English | Español


Jaime Ríos Burga

Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Peru


Sociology as a science and profession is entering in Peru a stage of development and consolidation within a framework of greater specialization and integration with other sciences.  In epistemic, theoretical and thematic regards, we are overcoming disciplinary concept and are constructing a new scientific culture within interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary dialogue, based on our social diversities.

Let us look at closer at the recent meeting of the Latin American Sociological Association (ALAS) in Peru 2015.  For Anibal Quijano, the modern systemic rationality of the patterns of power affect all social relations:  work, gender, ethnicity, body and emotions.  According to Nicolas Lynch, there is a new structural tendency towards structural polarization through the dynamics of an increasing concentration of power in the United States. And according to Dammert, we live under the destructive impact of neoliberal politics.

The Plenary Debate “Global Crisis and Contemporary Civilizational Transformations”, highlighted that the present global crisis goes beyond the crisis of capitalism as a historical system and new rationales of individuation. The Plenary Debate “Social Imaginary, Memories and Policies in Latin America” showed that a socio-historic understanding of the construction of imaginaries is the key for knowing and projecting individually and collectively the new dynamics of individuation, sociability and symbolic cultures in an intra-civilizational global-national encounter.

The Roundtable of Professional Associations of Peru raised the challenge of building a draft interinstitutional integration of Sociology Professional Associations as a profound expression of the democratization of our regions. Meanwhile Nora Garita discussed the relation between ALAS and sociology students, posing an urgency for dialogue and encounter between and within the generations of actual and virtual network.

They highlighted ideas to evaluate and construct epistemological and theoretical frameworks without losing their relationship with classical and contemporary contributions to global sociology, building integrated and differentiated schemes to overcome the tension between quantitative and qualitative research.

The presentations by Working Groups (WG) on sociology of space and place, urbanization and urban policies postulated the need to develop specific inter and multidisciplinary research.  We are witnessing a new structuring of spaces and the social as part of the global urban transformation affecting all social life, giving rise to new forms of planning and organization in their specific areas of reproduction.

The presentations by WG on inequality and poverty; crime; society and economy of solidarity; social imaginaries and memories; and environment discussed the need to deconstruct the hegemonic neoliberal discourse that has not only reversed the real democratization of life but has also unleashed new process, deep and paradoxical of unequal wealth, structural inequality, insecurity, informality and privatization of social life closely linked to environmental risks and everyday structural violence.

The Working Group “Gender Mainstreaming and Politics” posed centrality in public policies postulating in one of its conclusions the importance of access to equality and equity in gender relations guarantee recognition, promotion, protection and enforcement of rights all persons within the framework of human rights. In the same year the Working Group “Solidarity Economy Society” stressed the need to take as heuristic tools and preliminary notions of social and solidarity economy or popular economy, rather than as definite notions and closed where it acquires weight recovery memory and the reconstruction of the historical process of experiences is central to examine your current relationships and future prospects.

The groups of politics, power and international relations; epistemic shift and social change; social movements, confirmed the initial estimates of the need to rethink and imagine the construction of a new integrated positivist social science pos. Notably, the conclusions of the Working Group “Political Processes, Citizenship and Government” argued that democracy as a model of government exceed the vision and experience it as a practice, a new legitimacy ideal political system that seeks to guide civil society more egalitarian , just and individual freedom.

The main meeting of social movements put in discussion the youth protest against the law pulpín, considering the potential of youth as a political force in the criticism of the neoliberal discourse on work and rejection of biased media. On the rules of the system of political parties, indicate that while there is consensus that democracy can not function without political parties, it happens that today Peru is classified as a democracy without parties, this premise does not cover the complexity of the system political party which is immersed in the precarious organization of public institutions and also in the electoral context pragmatism far outweighs the primary long-term needs of each region and the country in general.

The Working Group “Crime, Violence and Social Control” allowed to show a wide range of topics and heterogeneous have been discussed, a space that functioned as a new window to reflect the main problem of Peru and Latin America. This critical view other WG as international relations, political processes, governance and political culture, highlighted the need to investigate the role of new actors in their ethnicities, contexts of neoliberal policies, new forms of integration and conflict, among other processes considering the urgency of specific and comparative within our own regions and between countries investigations.

Meanwhile in the central bureau: Problems and policy challenges of social movements in Latin America enriched highlighting the contributions aforementioned (1) An approach to the problematic context of the world, Latin America and Peru in terms of “crisis”, (2 ) It was proceeded to a critical reading of context, according to Freire optics, transformation and social change, to overcome the problematic aspects of the aforementioned situation, (3) As a theoretical framework prospects Hobsbawm, Lefevre and offered research committees 47 and 48 of the ISA on Social Movements (4) From these perspectives and theoretical frameworks cases Conga, Bagua and Aunt Mary and the new social movements in Latin America and the EZLN were mentioned, and the MST Movements of Indigenous Peoples – and the case of “Tierra y Libertad” in Peru, articulating issues left (justice), environment, democracy, nonviolence and ethics. Professor Jürgen Golte, from an anthropological perspective, inspired by the works of José Matos popular overflow emphasized aspects of entrepreneurship and consumerism, criticizing the alleged lack of interest in environmental movements. For his part, Professor Alberto Rieira presented a very structured outline of the situation of social movements in Latin America, characterizing the present time as a time of decline of the same.

The Working Group “Applied Sociology: Social Intervention in Social Projects” stressed the importance of corporate social responsibility in their criticism and debate purely instrumental forms of organization. The experiences micro business partner in its economic construction and social impact, its methodological and regional experiences in specific cases for the whole country respects. Social participation and development management: Along the same lines the contributions of the Working Group are located. The central table on applied sociology stressed the importance of vision and proactive change beating Milton Vidal say sociological pessimism application.

The Working Group “Politics and Culture Authority” spoke about hip hop in Lima and community development in North Lima raising the idea of a political culture in rebellious youth lyrical producing this genre. A relationship between music and politics which seek to change the perception of his audience about politics not only against a figure or facet of a fragmented subject, but a model of coherence of life and practice in their daily lives. Moreover, the character of the organizations of the inhabitants of human settlements in the hills of North Lima strategies to reach those who claim the state and be able to get basic services addressed a living life.

The Working Group “Science, Technology and Innovation” discussed the importance and contributions that come taking social studies of science and technology, recognizing that while composing a novel approach and little explored in our country, are essential to study social phenomena cultural, economic and political contemporary societies. In the same year the Working Group “The Sociology of the Professions and the Sociology of Education” raised the strategic interest for the construction of intelligent life organizations.

The Working Group “Sociology of Food” argued that food is not only a nutritional or biological fact, but is also a cultural and social phenomenon. That is, its universal importance since diversity is in how men choose their food as prepared consumes base from which to build their relationships with each other and nature. Besides food and cooking, as food, is a language that remains in the collective memory, imaginary and senses giving meaning to life, individual life and social interactions at all times and places.

The Working Group “Sociology of Aging” addressed key aspects of this stage of life in their social integration, conflict and subjectivities, from different angles establishing a communicating vessel between them, the same as lies mainly in many instances need to promote academic research and applied. The aging that Latin America still unknown gathers multiple processes that need to be revealed. Sociology should provide theoretical and methodological tools, in order to suggest alternative solutions to complex problems multidiversa and pointing to the proposed from the UN regarding a society for all age’s achievement.

The Working Group “Sociology of Discourse” addressed the collective fear, everyday politics and national identity from the speech of the sociology of sport. A recent field starting to incorporate various theories as critical discourse analysis as a tool to potentiate the other social sciences and sociological analysis. The Working Group “Media and Cultural Globalization” noted in its main conclusion that the struggle for the conquest of minds is fundamental to the global project of the United States. If from the start of their doctrinal programs was important, today this struggle for the minds is a key element in his plan.

The main meeting on “University and Society” emphasized the problem of privatization of public education, particularly university in Latin America. César Germana said the need to decolonize the university and lead it to the project of good living. While Carolina Ortiz Fernandez epistemic coloniality implies detachment, implying deracialize, depatriarchalize knowledge and provincializar Europe. The idea is inspired provincializar José María Arguedas.

The multi-disciplinary main meeting “What education, training in social sciences we want from women?” highlighted the interest in gay studies; public space; and the need to defend public education and equity offsetting all invisible. In the school of anthropology at San Marcos still it feels resistance to gender studies as well as in social work where there are 22 teachers, but there is still resistance to touch issues like abortion, is there lesbofobia, homophobia. Carolina Ortiz for his part proposed that all courses on gender and inter-colonial be promoted.

Finally, the closing keynote by ALAS President Marcelo Arnold discussed the balance and perspective of the new situations and problems of sociology in Latin America, emphasizing the need for rigorous systemic research.


JaimeRiosBurga - portraitJaime R. Ríos Burga, Doctor en Ciencias Políticas y Sociología por la Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Profesor Principal de la Escuela Académico Profesional de Sociología en la Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. Ex Director de la Escuela Académico Profesional de Sociología UNMSM. Profesor en el Instituto de la Alta Calidad de la Educación e Instituto de Gobierno de la USMP. Profesor del Pregrado en la URP. Miembro de la Asociación Internacional de Sociología. Ex Vice Decano de la Región Lima Callao del Colegio de Sociólogos del Perú (CSP). Miembro de la actual Junta Directiva de la Asociación Latinoamericana de Sociología (ALAS). Director Fundador de SOCIOLÓGICA: Revista del Colegio de Sociólogos del Perú. jaimecultura1@gmail.com.


Banner Image: Auditorio historico, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Perú.


Add to favorite