Potential, Strength and Weakness of Argentinian Social Sciences to Analyze Contemporary Society

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 8:30 AM
Room: Booth 49
Oral Presentation
Juan Ignacio PIOVANI , Sociology, CONICET, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina
Fernanda BEIGEL , Sociology, CONICET-Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Ciudad, Argentina
This paper attempts to describe the current state of the Argentinean social sciences in terms of institutionalization, research capabilities and agenda. It is framed within a research program called PISAC, implemented by the National Council of Social Sciences and co-financed by the Ministry of Science and the Secretary of University Policies. PISAC has three main objectives, each one linked to a specific research project: a) a critical assessment of the Argentinean social science system (institutions, agenda, researchers´ profiles, publications, etc.); b) a review and systematization of the research findings produced in the last decade with regards to key issues addressed by the Argentinean social sciences; c) a structural study of current social, political and cultural trends in the country.

In this paper, in particular, we present some preliminary findings and discussions related to the first research project (a). In this sense, we maintain that Argentina's scientific field is currently featured by a dynamic, predominantly public andprofessionalized system that has witnessed a geometrical growth in the last decade. Both the public universities and the National Scientific Council (CONICET) have benefited from this growth. Accordingly, social sciences have experienced an expansive phase visible in the consolidation of postgraduate studies, international publishing and collaborative research. However, some important problems still persist:

1)      In terms of institutionalization, professionalization and full-time research positions the social sciences are still well behind the natural sciences;

2)      the structural heterogeneity of Argentina’s scientific field, featured by the split between CONICET and the public university system

3)       the national publishing circuit of the social sciences is still weak, both in terms of domestic and international circulation of knowledge produced locally.

4)      There are significant differences in the levels of institutionalization, professionalization and internationalization that the academic activities related to the social sciences bear in different regions of the country.