The Gemeinschaft at the Dawn of Argentinian Sociology: The Contributions of a. Poviña and F. Ayala

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 9:45 AM
Room: Booth 68
Distributed Paper
Fermin ALVAREZ RUIZ , University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Emiliano TORTEROLA , University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ana Lucía GRONDONA , University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
The paper that we hereby present looks into the singular ways in which the problematization of Gemeinschaft-Gesselschaft was “translated” into Argentinian sociology in the 1940s, prior to its institutionalization as a scientific discipline in the context of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA).

In our work we test, in a preliminary way, the hypothesis that, in this conjuncture, more prone to essayist writing than to methodical and scientific inquiry, “community” acquired a “culturalist”, “essentialist” or “primordalist” meaning, closely related to the concepts of “nation” and “pueblo”.

To carry out this task, we will explore, fundamentally, some works of the Argentinian Alfredo Poviña and the Spanish Francisco Ayala.

The first of them, Alfredo Poviña, presents a changing profile, mainly regarding his political orientations, which first leaned him close to Peronism and then to authoritarian projects of communitarian stamp, such as the J. C. Onganía’s dictatorship (1966-1970). He developed his work, mainly, in the National Universities of Córdoba and Tucumán. In particular, we will analyze his presentation for the First National Congress of Philosophy in 1949 in Mendoza ("The sociological idea of community"), as well as his work Ontological Sociology Issues, published that same year.

On the other hand, Francisco Ayala, a Republican exile, played, from the National University of the Litoral, a prominent role in the Latin American academia; at the same time as an editor-translator (among others, of F. Tönnies’s Community and Society) and as a producer of texts. Among the latter, his work around the “sociological concept of Nation” (1941) stands out and will be the focus of our analysis.