Marta Soler and Ramon Flecha

Biography

Ramon Flecha

Ramon Flecha is professor of sociology at the University of Barcelona and the founder and former Director of CREA, the Center of Research on Theories and Practices that Overcome Inequalities, at the same university. He is also Doctor Honoris Causa in sociology by the University of Vest Timisoara, Romania. He had directed one of the most important studies funded by the European Commission about the Roma people in Europe, the “Workalo” project. For that he got recognition not only from the academia, but also from the Roma citizens, when the Catalan Roma Federation gave him one of their national awards and was invited to be a member of the National Roma Council, which provides advice to the government. Flecha has been always strongly involved with poor and marginalized communities since the 60s, first in his hometown, Bilbao, and later in Barcelona, while he was also part of the clandestine movement against Franco’s dictatorship until 1975. His book “Sharing words”, published in Spanish, English and Chinese, includes some of this work. In 1991 founded CREA with colleagues from different disciplines, inside and outside the university, with whom he developed the communicative methodology that is key in CREA’s public sociology work. For the last decade he has been deeply involved in the study of Mondragon cooperative group as an alternative to capitalist economy, a project that has got the attention of relevant groups such as the Real Utopias Project in the US or the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Europe. Several works have been published on the topic.

Marta Soler

Marta Soler is Professor of Sociology at the University of Barcelona and current Director of CREA. She joined CREA as a junior researcher in 1992 and since then she participated in national and European studies on strategies to overcome exclusion. In 2001 she graduated from Harvard, with a dissertation on literary gatherings and social change (or the empowerment of the working class through breaking with cultural elitism). Some years later she spoke at the Havens Center at University of Wisconsin, Madison, about this study, with a lecture titled “Beyond Bourdieu”. Back in Spain she continued this work elaborating on speech acts theory with the analysis of communicative acts, and applying this analysis to gender inequalities and gender violence. From this work highlights her book with the philosopher John Searle “Language and social sciences” (2004) and two studies funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science (Communicative acts and social inequality in gender relations; Impact of communicative acts in the construction of egalitarian masculinities). Besides, Marta Soler is the Academic Director of the Degree in Sociology at the University of Barcelona and Board member of the Catalan Sociology Association (Catalan Academy of Sciences).

Readings

Read  “Critical Communicative Methodology: Informing Real Social Transformation threough Research.” then join the global discussion on Facebook!

See below for the full lecture and global discussion!

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César Rodríguez-Garavito

Biography

Cesar Rodriguez-Garavito is Associate Professor and founding Director of the Program on Global Justice and Human Rights at the University of the Andes (Colombia). He is a founding member of the Center for Law, Justice, and Society (Dejusticia) and a Hauser Global Fellow at NYU Law School. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Pretoria, the Åbo Academy of Human Rights, the University of Buenos Aires, the Andean University of Quito, and the Irish Center for Human Rights. He holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. (Sociology) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.A. from NYU’s Institute for Law and Society, an M.A. (Philosophy) from the National University of Colombia, and a J.D. from the University of the Andes. His publications include “Ethnicity.gov: Global Governance, Indigenous Peoples and the Right to Prior Consultation in Social Minefields” (Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies); “Beyond the Courtroom: The Impact of Judicial Activism on Socioeconomic Rights in Latin America” (Texas Law Review); The Global Expansion of the Rule of Law; Law and Globalization from Below: Toward a Cosmopolitan Legality (coed.); and “Global Governance and Labor Rights: Codes of Conduct and Anti-Sweatshop Struggles in Global Apparel Factories in Mexico and Guatemala” (Politics & Society).

Readings

Read “Ethnicity.gov: Global Governance, Indigenous Peoples, and the Right to Prior Consultation in Social Minefields,” then join the global discussion on Facebook!

See below for the full lecture and global discussion!

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Nandini Sundar

Biography

Professor Nandini Sundar is an outstanding social anthropologist of South Asia, who has made major and original contributions to our understanding of environmental struggles, of the impact of central and state policies on tribal politics, and of the moral ambiguities associated with subaltern political movements in contemporary India. These contributions are anchored in her deep grasp of the legacies of colonial rule for cultural politics in contemporary India, and in theoretically innovative understanding of the relationship of major historical events to persistent structural tensions in Indian society. Professor Sundar has placed her detailed studies of tribal politics in Central India in the broader frame of studies of the law, bureaucracy and morality in modern India. In so doing, she has combined innovative empirical and ethnographic methods and cutting-edge approaches to those sociological debates which link the study of social change in modern India to central debates in comparative social theory.
The Infosys Prize 2010 for Social Sciences – Social Anthropology is awarded to Nandini Sundar in recognition of her contributions as an outstanding analyst of social identities, including tribe and caste, and the politics of knowledge in modern India.

Readings

This week features a series of readings from Indian public sociologist, Nandini Sundar:

After reading the preceding, join the global network of public sociologists on Facebook!

See below for the full lecture and global discussion!

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Manuel Castells

Biography

Manuel Castells is currently Professor of Sociology, and Director of the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), in Barcelona. He is especially associated with information society and communication research. The 2000–09 research survey of the Social Sciences Citation Index ranks him as the world’s fifth most-cited social science scholar, and the foremost-cited communication scholar. He has authored 23 books, including the trilogy “The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture.” He has also co-authored and edited an additional 22 books. Among other distinguished appointments he was a member of the United Nations Secretary General´s Advisory Board on Information Technology and Global Development, and a member of the United Nations Secretary General´s Advisory Panel on the Global Civil Society. He is also a trustee of the California Institute of the Arts. In 2005 he was appointed by the European Commission to be a founding member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council. In 2008 he was appointed to the Governing Board of the new European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) created by the European Union to stimulate the research cooperation between universities, business and society.

Readings

Read Manuel Castells’ “Communication Power,” then join the global discussion on Facebook! See below for full lecture and global discussion! (more…)

Michael Burawoy

Biography

Michael Burawoy has been a participant observer of industrial workplaces in four countries: Zambia, United States, Hungary and Russia. In his different projects he has tried to illuminate — from the standpoint of the working class — postcolonialism, the organization of consent to capitalism, the peculiar forms of class consciousness and work organization in state socialism, and, finally, the dilemmas of transition from socialism to capitalism. Over the course of four decades of research and teaching, he has developed the extended case method that allows broad conclusions to be drawn from ethnographic research. No longer able to work in factories, recently he turned to the study of his own workplace – the university – to consider the way sociology itself is produced and then disseminated to diverse publics. His advocacy of public sociology has generated much heat in many a cool place. Throughout his sociological career he has engaged with Marxism, seeking to reconstruct it in the light of his research and more broadly in the light of historical challenges of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Readings

Read Michael Burawoy’s “For Public Sociology” address, then interact on the Facebook group!

See below for full lecture and global discussion!
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Resources

Welcome, international sociologists!

We are eager to hear your opinions on all matters of public sociology, so feel free to peruse the course materials listed below, then participate in the active Facebook forum. All this from the leisure of your own home!

Michael Burawoy’s Course Webpage: For the syllabus and a continuously updated list of readings.

Facebook Group: For respectful, interactive, and fruitful discussion of public sociology.

Welcome to Public Sociology, Live!

This is the blog of the course, “Public Sociology, Live.” Here, you will find links to the videos of the weekly seminars that bring together famous sociologists and Berkeley students who will examine them about their public sociology. You can also find the syllabus and links to the readings for each week and other miscellaneous items.