Community and/or/Versus Gemeinschaft? about the Emerging Problems By the Translation of a Concept from ‘Central' to ‘Peripherical' Cultural Spaces. the Case of the Sociological Work of Gino Germani

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 9:30 AM
Room: Booth 68
Oral Presentation
Pablo DE MARINIS , Universidad de Buenos Aires, CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Alejandro BIALAKOWSKY , Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Community and Gemeinschaft certainly made a long and prolific way along the history of social/sociological theory. They still remain key concepts, in the space of these theories and also in the broader political and cultural debate. These trajectories were not linear, and were marked by the deepest divergences between cultural fields as well as within them. Thus, Dewey, the authors of the Chicago School of Sociology and Parsons, in (North)American cultural field, and Tönnies, Weber, Plessner and König, in the German one (among many other names that could be mentioned here), overlapped different layers of meaning on a conceptual construct which invariably refers to ways of living together, usually (but not always) positively connoted.

For very complex and historical reasons, it is an indisputable fact that both cultural fields (German and North-American) were for a long time (and still are even today) “central” in relation to other cultural fields, as the Latin American, which were so located as “peripheral”. In ways that still could only be exploratory, this paper aims to analyze some of the problems of translation which necessarily emerge whenever Gemeinschaft and community were reappropriated, and creatively invested with new meanings by different Latin American social theories, in also different historical contexts of problematization, since the 40s of last century to the present times. Special attention will be given to the work of the Italian-Argentine sociologist Gino Germani, who in the 50s of the last century gave a strong impetus to what was then called “scientific sociology”, in strong connection with “modernization theories”.