The aim of the conference is to discuss social stratification and social mobility in South America in a historical perspective. The study of social inequality and social mobility caused by the processes of modernization of the western society is crucial to the development of the social sciences (especially sociology) as academic subject matters. However, from a historical point of view, these processes failed to be fully understood. Recently, with the development of huge databanks on the populations of the past, it has become possible to think about long-running processes on more solid empirical bases. Therefore, contemporary historians, sociologists and economists have ahead of them the challenge to look into the past in order to check whether the transformations observed in short-living situations would really be innovative and not just mere reverberations of deeper changes that would mark contemporary society since at least the beginning of the 20th century. In the construction of this approach, the contribution of the historian is vital to prevent anachronisms, which occurs when one tries to see in the past the processes that are not pertinent to it.
Once these approaches supplied by the advance of the databanks on historical data have been made available, there emerged a need for the standardization of the procedures and for working on comparisons, both in terms of space and time. In the case of studies of social inequality and social mobility, there is a consolidated tradition that anchors class typologies and structures on occupation found in censuses or other sources. The first purpose of this conference is to advance in the comparative approach of the theme related to social inequality and social mobility in the South American national societies by tackling this challenge. In order to overcome the problems posed by standardization, we advise the authors to adopt HISCO, Historical International Standard Classification of Occupation, a single occupational code already tested in Europe and in some non-European countries.
The second challenge, related to the need to establish long-running comparisons without falling back on anachronism, will be meet with the inclusion of other variables in the description of social class positions in colonial and post-colonial realities, particularly the South American ones. To this end, we intend to incorporate studies that investigate the extent to which the considerations on social condition and ethnic/race origin heighten the sensitivity of the description of these social realities.
Connecting these issues, we will organize the conference in the following axes:
a. Social stratification in South America;
b. Intergenerational social mobility in South America;
c. Social homogamy in South America: social, cultural, demographic and
d. Economic dimensions of social inequality in South America and their consequences for social mobility;
e. Methodological approaches.
We seek papers that will engage a wide range of disciplines, including history, sociology, economy, anthropology, demography, and race and gender studies. In order to be considered, applicants should email their proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 1, 2011. Proposals should include a one-page c.v. and an abstract of no more than 350 words. Paper presentations will be limited to 20 minutes. Limited financial support is available for participants' travel and housing expenses. Decisions will be announced by May 2, 2011. First draft papers will be requested in June 6.
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Department of History
Avenida Antônio Carlos, 6627
Belo Horizonte - MG - Brazil
55 31 3409-5045 Email: email@example.com
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