Sociology in Times of Global Changes: How to Address a New Agenda for Transnational Studies?

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 13:15
Location: Auditorium Maximum (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Celi SCALON, Sociology, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In recent decades, there has been a clear shift in the social, economic and political power balance, bringing novelty to our traditional understanding about societies. Many factors have contributed to this change. Emerging countries have entered the international arena as new players. Human mobility around the world has increased, improving diversity and increasing cultural exchange. The new media and technologies have intensified and accelerated communication and information exchange. We have become more connected and aware of the differences as and similarities between our societies. Unfortunately, not all effects of this connection are positive. In many cases, the outcome was less tolerance, more prejudice, and growing inequality.

These are challenges for sociology that can only be addressed by an agenda of international research efforts and transnational dialogues. It is quite clear that no country is isolated and that changes in environment, economics, politics or culture have consequences for many others. It does not mean there are no specificities, localities or national states; nonetheless analysis about local or national issues has become more complex and complete when we can see the local through the lens of the global. Experiences of international comparative analyses, diffusion of open access publications and data, as well as international meetings are ways to strengthen the transnational connections among Sociologists. As we call for international cooperation in so many spheres, such as the environment, human rights, economy, among others, it is our responsibility to simultaneously promote international cooperation in knowledge production. Nevertheless, we shall emphasize that knowledge production and exchange must be more symmetrical and equal between the center and the periphery. Developed countries and less developed countries must meet as equals in the transnational sociological arena, since we can all contribute to a better understanding of our world and, consequently, to a better future for the globe.