Sociological Narrative Accounts Guiding Society: Work and Network of Production and Difussion of Three Chilean Sociologists (1970-2013)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 9:00 AM
Room: Booth 49
Oral Presentation
Claudio RAMOS ZINCKE , Sociology, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Santiago, Chile
The most significant sociologists in Chile, in the academic field and the public sphere, have been makers of narrative accounts or stories about the reality of the country and its process of transformation which have served as guidance for social actors. Such sociological stories have helped to constitute the socio-political world and the processes occurring in it: structural transformations under Popular Unity Government (1970-1973), resistance and criticism under the military dictatorship (1973-1989), transition to democracy (late 1980s, early 1990s), etc. They have played a performative role, actively becoming part of the reality they describe. This is not merely the result of the force of ideas, but is rather a product of complex networks producing such narrative accounts, in which the authors are prominent nodes that manage to become obligatory passage point. The research examines three remarkable sociologists who have contrasting trajectories, orientations and institutional links. Tomás Moulian, with marxist and critical orientation, connected to left political parties; Pedro Morandé, in the Catholic intellectual tradition, connected with the Catholic Church; and Eugenio Tironi, in a Durkheimian tradition, with participation in the State. With regard to them and in reference to the period 1970-2013 three main matters are analyzed: (1) key axes of their sociological accounts; (2) characteristics of their networks of connections that encourage and enable their work, and then contribute to its dissemination; and (3) features that give performative strength to their narratives. The study is based on works written by these authors and others, and interviews to the authors themselves and other members of the network of production and dissemination. The analysis considers relations between local and global production of knowledge and discuss approaches such as those who assert the existence of epistemic dependency and epistemological obstacles for the production of knowledge in peripheral or semiperipheral countries.