1st Edition

Florestan Fernandes’ Critical Sociology A Social Theory of Brazil and Latin America

    208 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    208 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book intends to familiarise the reader with the political and sociological thought of Florestan Fernandes, covering the range of his research themes and socialist militancy between the 1940s and 1990s.

    Considered the founding father of sociology in Brazil, Florestan Fernandes’ work is essential for an understanding of the historical and political dilemmas of Brazilian and Latin American societies. His main themes encompass research on folklore, indigenous peoples, race relations between blacks and whites, sociological theory, education, underdevelopment, dependence, Latin American dictatorships and the Brazilian “re- democratization” after 1980, providing a new interpretation of Latin America from the point of view of the lumpen social strata.

    Following Mannheim’s inspiration, the present work is inserted in the field of sociology of knowledge. It takes an original approach to the ideas of Florestan Fernandes based on the notion of a lumpen thought style. This book is a key resource for readers learning about the history of the social sciences in Latin America, and about the political dilemmas of Latin American societies.

    Lists of figures

    Series editor foreword by Adrian Scribano



    PART I: From the lumpen social environment to the University of São Paulo

    1 The lumpen style of thought

    2 The trajectory of Florestan Fernandes at the University of São Paulo (USP)

    3 Sociology in Latin America or Latin American sociology?

    PART II: The construction of Florestan Fernandes’ critical sociology: From Brazilian “social dilemmas” to the category of “dependent capitalism” in Latin America

    4 The construction of “critical and militant sociology”: From folklore to race relations

    5 Sociology of development, sociological theory and education: The social sciences Latin Americanization in the 1950s and 1960s

    6 The “committed sociology” and the Latin American intellectual networks of Florestan Fernandes: Struggles around public education, underdevelopment and dependent capitalism

    PART III: Brazil and Latin America in a socialist perspective: Racial dilemma, dependent capitalism and bourgeois autocracy

    7 The Latin American Marxism of Florestan Fernandes (1970– 1995)

    8 A new social theory of Brazil and Latin America: The lumpen perspective of Florestan Fernandes

    By way of conclusion: The renaissance of critical and militant sociology



    Diogo Valença de Azevedo Costa is Associate Professor at the Universidade Federal do Recôncavo da Bahia (UFRB). His research interests are the sociology of knowledge, sociological theory, sociological thought in the Third World (specifically Latin America and Africa) and Marxism in Latin America. He has contributed as editor and author of chapters in the collective work Florestan Fernandes: trajetória, memórias e dilemas do Brasil (2021).

    Eliane Veras Soares is Full Professor at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE). She is interested in the area of social thought in Brazil. She is the author of Florestan Fernandes, o militante solitário (1997) and co- editor of the book Florestan Fernandes: trajetória, memórias e dilemas do Brasil (2021).