Violence, Inequalities and Exclusion in Latin American Sociology

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 14:00
Location: Constitution Hall (MTCC NORTH BUILDING)
Oral Presentation
Gabriel KESSLER, Universidad Nacional de La Plata-Conicet, Argentina
The relationship between violence, discrimination, racism and exclusion has been a major concern for Latin American social sciences over the last 30 years. The aim of this presentation is to give an overview of the main ideas, concepts and findings of Latin American Sociology on these issues, organized around three distinctive phases. The first one is defined by a series of studies which focused the political violence linked to the dictatorships that devastated most of the region in the 70s. The second phase is characterized by studies that addressed urban violence in a region with very high rates of homicide and theft. These studies spread across the region, even in countries with comparatively low levels of violence. In these investigations the relationship between violence, racism and exclusion is very strong: violence affects mainly the most excluded social groups which also tend to be the victims of racism, such as Afro-Latin Americans. A third phase gained momentum in the last decade, linked to the so-called "pink tide’s" political changes, new views on violence and an attempt to produce local theories. One of the main questions has been why in a period of decreasing inequality there was not a drop in crime. There has been also a renovated reflection about exclusion and discrimination. Many studies have highlighted the question of race and, above all, the centrality of gender violence, in particular femicides. There was also a new look at different types of violence and their interrelations, as well as an interest in understanding the likely influence of the political authoritarian past in the current manifestations of violence. These questions, as well as other that will be addressed in the presentation, pose new challenges for Latin American Sociology in order to comprehend, to explain and to contribute to transform reality.