Sociology in the Brazilian Press: Florestan Fernandes (1943-1949)

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 11:15
Oral Presentation
Antonio BRASIL JR., Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Federal University of RIo de Janeiro), Brazil
This paper aims to identify and analyze the presence of sociology in the public debate between the 1940s and the 1960s, a crucial period in its institutionalization and legitimation as a scientific discipline in Brazil. To this end, I will map the articles published by sociologists - as well as the news that refer to them - in newspapers and magazines of wide circulation, in order to detect how sociology was present - or not - in the major debates and conflicts in Brazilian society in the last century. My hypothesis is that sociology operated as a kind of meta-language that translated the public debate in sociological categories, providing meaning and motivation to the social actors in their practical and concrete disputes. This analysis of the sociologists’ participation in the public debate will be situated within the main cleavages of the period, which can show sociology’s diverse political orientations in this context of Brazilian society. This paper shows the first results of my ongoing research, which focus on the presence of Florestan Fernandes in the press between 1943 and 1949, more specifically in the following newspapers: Estado de Sao Paulo, Folha de Sao Paulo and Jornal de Sao Paulo. In this period, Fernandes not only published sociological articles on many topics, but also tried other kinds of public intervention, like literary criticism and political analysis of Estado Novo dictatorship and its institutional legacy. The systematization and organization of this textual material hitherto scattered and underexplored may bring new perspectives on the Brazilian sociology during the mid-twentieth century.