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In solidarity with Brazilian sociologists protesting end of teaching and research in sociology, as well as in the social sciences

Note from the Brazilian Society of Sociology in Defence of Education and Research in Human Areas

by sacw.net, 3 May

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[Translation from the original statement in Portuguese - ’Nota da Sociedade Brasileira de Sociologia em Defesa do Ensino e Pesquisa Nas áreas de Humanas’, Brasília, 26 de abril de 2019 is made available here for public information, hoping that social scientists in South Asia will express their solidarity with Brazilian sociologists protesting end of teaching and research in sociology, as well as in the social sciences and write letters of protest to the Govt of Brazil]

sacw.net - 3 May 2019

Statement from Sociedade Brasileira de Sociologia / Brazilian Sociological Society

Brasília, April 26, 2019.

The Brazilian Society of Sociology (SBS) publicly expresses its strong criticism of the statements made by the President of the Republic regarding his intention to "decentralize" university resources to human areas - specifically philosophy and sociology - in order to "focus" on areas such as veterinary medicine, engineering and medicine.

Certainly, the areas of veterinary, engineering, medicine - and others such as biology, chemistry, etc. - are fundamental for the social and economic development of the country.

However, it is necessary to point out that the humanities, among which the mentioned disciplines philosophy and sociology, have a long trajectory in the history of knowledge elaborated in several universities in Brazil and in the world and are equally important for the construction of a modern country, developed and more supportive.

Sociology is a scientific discipline as much as physics, medicine, chemistry, biology, etc. The knowledge it draws is based on empirical facts confronted with theories and concepts, but also on conceptual reflections and analyses of social reality carried out through the use of analytical categories that are proper to it. The results obtained through sociological research are the result of the use of rigorous methods for obtaining data, considering and analyzing multiple sources of information and also sophisticated techniques in the treatment of quantitative and qualitative data obtained in various ways. In this sense, the Brazilian Society of Sociology cannot accept the unreasonable charge that sociology, both national and international, produces ideologies or the like. Sociology is a science, and like all others, it is separated from notions of common sense.

Sociology, moreover, is an academic discipline present in virtually every country that has universities. In all the contexts in which it is present, it has provided relevant contributions in analyzing issues of public interest such as violence, inequalities, social, urban and rural life, etc. Their results contribute, in no small measure, to the formulation and implementation of public policies to address the many issues facing our societies.

Sociology, as one of the most respected contemporary sociologists Anthony Giddens has argued, has, after all, become a fundamental actor in modern societies, since the knowledge produced by it enables citizens to understand the world around us and the broader contexts in which we live.

It will never be too much trouble to warn that countries with more robust university systems than Brazil have vigorous departments of human sciences and sociology, such as Harvard, Columbia and Yale in the USA, the London School of Economics in England and France, Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, as well as sociology departments at the German universities of Bielefeld, Hamburg, Berlin or Frankfurt, or in emerging countries such as China and its Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Instead of suffering senseless accusations and threats of budget cuts, these institutions and their departments of sociology enjoy social and intellectual respect for their local communities and, at the same time, the protection and academic encouragement of their respective governments.

Finally, it is important to point out that numerous international calls for the execution of large technological projects (in areas as diverse as the environment, health in general and public health, engineering) have required the presence of sociologists or sociologists in the teams of researchers, since more and more discussions in international political arenas take into account the possible ramifications and consequences of the results of these projects on the living conditions of broad population segments.

To decree and / or stimulate the end of teaching and research in sociology, as well as in the social sciences and humanities, is to stimulate and promote the international isolation of the country in front of the most advanced in all fields of science in the world.

The Brazilian Society of Sociology urges the national and international university communities to join in the defence of the departments of sociology - and philosophy - in Brazil, as well as the other areas of the human field.

SBS also calls on Brazilian society to defend freedom of thought and research, preservation of academic dialogue between the various areas of knowledge, namely, the intellectual exchange between the natural sciences, the technological areas and the human build together scientifically and socially relevant knowledge for a modern and supportive society as we hope

P.S.

Please note the above translation may contain some errors for which we apologise in advance and we hope Portuguese-English speakers will help refine this.