Contents - Previous - Next

This is the old United Nations University website. Visit the new site at

Session V: From intellectual dependence to creativity

Report on session V
La apropiación y la recuperación de las ciencias sociales en el contexto de los proyectos culturales endógenos
On the edge of a razor blade: the new historical blocs and socio-cultural alternatives in Europe
Science and technology in the history of modern Japan: imitation or endogenous creativity?
Science and technology as an organic part of contemporary culture
Joseph Needham's contribution to the history of science and technology in China

Chairman: Celso Furtado
Co-chairman: Zvonimir Damjanovic
Rapporteur: Ahmad Yousef Hassan


Gregory Blue

As observed by Dr. Pinguelli Rosa in one of the last interventions in the conference's fifth session, there was to be witnessed throughout almost the entire proceedings a marked ambivalence towards contemporary science and technology. It can be argued this ambivalence was a reflection of the objective but contradictory roles which they are and will be required to fulfill. The contradictory potentials of science and technology were brought home forcefully by Drs. Pecujlic and Vidakovic when they evoked the image of the "two faces" which they exhibit, and implications for the social sciences were raised by Dr. Bonfil Batalla.

Although their functions in the modern world may indeed be variable, science and technology nevertheless constitute organic components of contemporary culture, as pointed out by Dr. Damjanovic: they affect every society vitally through their impact on production. As distinct from other aspects of culture, however, they are necessarily rooted in an international or universal dimension. Historical light was thrown on the differential aspects of scientific and technological universality by Mr. Bluets discussion of Joseph Needham's work on the history of science in China and the West and by Dr. Nakeaka's detailed account of the mastering of metallurgical techniques in Japan in the nineteenth century.

Dependence by Third World countries in the fields of science and technology has been and continues to be an essential but nevertheless distinct part within the general structure of domination to which these countries have been subjected. Unfortunately, because the various non-European civilizations have to one extent or another been subject to European domination in general and also to modern science and technology, whose development has for a relatively long period of time been centred within the European cultural area, there has arisen a now widespread notion that proficiency in science and technology are uniquely European traits. In this fifth session, special attention was paid to refuting this thesis in the presentations by Mr. Blue and Dr. Nakaoka in relation to the natural sciences and technology, in that by Dr. Bonfil Batalla in relation to the social sciences, and during the discussion in the intervention by Dr. Pandeya.

All five of the position papers presented emphasized that for Third World peoples to overcome dependence in the fields of science and technology it is necessary to rely on and strengthen endogenous facilities and potentials while simultaneously drawing on global achievements in all fields. The importance of achieving endogenous creativity was likewise stressed throughout the session.

Anouar AbJel-Malek, Salustiano del Campo Urbano, Celso Furtado, Alexander Kwapong, Imre Marton, A.N. Pandeya, Luiz Pinguelli Rosa, and Immanuel Wallerstein took part in the discussion.

Report on session V


Ahmad Your Harlan

1. Dr. Guillermo Bonfil Batalla presented his paper on "The Recuperation and Appropriation of Social Sciences in the Context of Endogeneous Cultural Projects." The paper discusses the relationship between traditional social knowledge and formal social sciences in the case of the native peasant Indian peoples of Latin America.

In the first and second parts, four main points are made:

(a) All societies need scientific social knowledge in order to invent and build their own futures.

(b) Western social sciences have no universal validity and they cannot cope adequately with problems faced by other peoples with different civilizations.

(c) The knowledge about society, e.g., in the case of Latin American Indian peoples about their own societies, is not institutionalized nor systematically organized.

(d) The social science which is needed to help these peoples in their liberation effort must include the systematic knowledge both of their own societies and of the dominant hegemonic societies.

Next, the paper discusses the problem of a new, emerging Indian intelligentsia, as a product of different factors: expansion of school system, migration, etc.

A new intelligentsia is needed in order to concentrate, develop, and formalize traditional knowledge about society and, at the same time, to introduce in this knowledge adequate information and methodological tools of the formal social sciences. The intelligentsia is a first step in the process of institutionalization of traditional knowledge. Without an institutional knowledge, it is very difficult to have an equalitarian dialogue between western and Indian social thought.

Finally the political perspectives of the new Indian intelligentsia are discussed. All the forces and interests of the established political and economic system play against the independence and progressive role of the Indian intelligentsia. The only chance is to become an organic intelligentsia, deeply rooted in the true interest of their own people.

2. Dr. Miroslav Pecuilic presented his paper entitled "On the Edge of a Razor Blade: The New Historical Blocs and Socio-cultural Alternatives in Europe." The paper dealt with the greatest challenge of all: the creation of knowledge suited to our epoch, its fascinating possibilities, and its cruel dangers. The first part of the paper dealt with the two faces of science and technology. In one face social progress was equated with technological growth. The other face came with the slogan "technology inevitably dehumanizes and enslaves man." Part two of the paper spoke about the pathology of power and science, and part three of the new protagonists - social movements and organic intelligentsia. In part four he spoke about the alternatives striving for a new quality of human existence. At the end of the paper he spoke about self-reliance and solidarity or autonomy and new universality.

In speaking about the other face of science and technology, it is stated that it is of decisive importance to realize that science and technology are not negative factors in themselves; they turn into that when becoming part of an antagonistic social arrangement. What we are seeking is a new type of society, of civilization, which is to be a more favourable framework for the development of the authentic potentials of man.

The new culture or civilization cannot be built without international solidarity. Without mutuality, there is no autonomy.

The coming era has opened a glorious but also a critical period of overall interdependence. We are living in a planetary world society. A pluralism of cultures is necessary in order to have the world become a society which is not uniform and indistinguishable. Only autonomy, independence, and equality can be a path leading towards universal richness. Differences will remain. But the decisive question is whether they will turn into hostility and antagonism. (The full text of the paper is included as section V of this report.)

3. Tetsuro Nakaoka spoke about "Science and Technology in the History of Modern Japan - Imitation or Endogenous Creativity?". He exposed the relation between exogenous and endogenous influences in scientific and technical development exemplified by the particular case of Japan in the mid-nineteenth century. Citing the example of the Kamaishi Iron Works it is concluded that science and technology must have their roots in the culture of society. It is impossible for developing countries to make any progress without any imitation or borrowing of technology. Europe learned from the highly advanced Arabic, Indian, and Chinese cultural areas. Examples are cited from the Japanese experience. New technology is acquired and assimilated in "leaps." Japan's technological development can be understood as passing through a series of leaps. The paper spoke about the dynamics of interaction between exogenous and endogenous forces. It also spoke about the gap between the advanced areas and the backward areas of the economy in Japan. The paper concludes that technological leaps can be regarded as elements of dynamic progress in society. They can work as excellent incitements to endogenous creativity; in other conditions they can become the starting point for serious conflicts.

4. Dr. Zvonimir Damjanovic spoke in his paper about "Science and Technology as Organic Parts of Contemporary Culture." The paper elaborates certain theses: (1) That science cannot be developed primarily through needs of local, divided, practical activities in detail. A broad population should be cultivated in science. (2) Technology has grown out of and over its old frame, which was mere application of basic knowledge. Competence in technology is not a matter of choice, of some local priorities. It appears as a part of basic culture of a broad enough population. (3) Science and technology are not a set of recipes. They are rather a way of thinking. The spirit of science cannot be bottled.(4) As collective intellect science and technology are deeply rooted in the human race. No national culture will survive unless it makes space within itself for the all-human complement of scientific-technological culture. (5) Far from creating unemployment, science and technology liberate man from dull work, from over-work. They render the majority of people competent, not only for technical but also for social and political matters. (6) Developing countries are in great need of the development of science and technology. But the problems are not specific to them. All countries are equally faced with the problems of adaptation to the new developments.

5. Mr. Gregory Blue presented his position paper entitled "Joseph Needham's Contribution to the History of Science and Technology in China," and he dealt with three points concerning the development of the national sciences. First of all, he pointed out that medieval China, like other non-European civilizations, had a relatively high level of medieval science and technology, in relation to Europe. Transmission of technology and knowledge of natural phenomena from China to Europe was large and attests to the international and cumulative nature of techno-scientific advance. Traditional China, like other civilizations, formulated problems and generated techniques which represented key factors both in transforming medieval Europe and in the eventual development of distinctively modern science.

The second point concerned the relation between traditional and modern science. It was noted that traditional science, e.g., in China, did have sophisticated bodies of theory, controlled experimentation, etc.; but it remained fixed in untestable, ethnicbound categories. Modern science, on the other hand, uses universalized, mathematical experimentation in order to test its fundamental categories; it thus tends to become oecumenical. Discussion was given to the temporal lag between development of modern science and the realization of its oecumenical character.

The third point concerned the fact that the written material recording the achievements of traditional Chinese science and technology is only one source of knowledge of the tradition, for much valuable traditional knowledge remains alive among the people. A government policy can facilitate tapping of this knowledge by creating conditions in which both traditional science and modern science are geared to the basic interests of the people.


1. Dr. Immanuel Wallerstein remarked that, until this session, speakers referred to science and technology in the sense of physical and biological science and technology only. In this session speakers included the social sciences. We must emphasize the role of the social sciences when we speak of the endogenous capacity of the developing countries. Mr. Blue said in his paper that current ecumenical sciences can benefit from the regional traditional sciences. This may apply also to the social sciences which can benefit also from the traditional cultures of the East.

2. Dr. Salustiano del Campo made four points. First the type of political power, institutional or democratic and its relation to the institutions and development of science and technology in different societies. Second he called attention to the social structure of Europe at the time science and technology developed in comparison to the social situations of some of the societies where science and technology originated. Third, he put the question of the role social science has played in the spread of science and technology. Fourth he mentioned the particular case of some intermediate societies, modern but traditional, developed and developing at the same time, and invited the interest of participants to get more thorough knowledge of such societies.

3. Dr. Imre Marton commented as follows:

La communication présentée par le professeur Miroslav Pecujlic, recteur de l'Université de Belgrade, m'encourage a partager avec vous des préoccupations liées a ['impact des distorsions, des tensions économiques et sociales sur le système de formation dans le secondaire et le supérieur, de même que sur le comportement des étudiants vis-à-vis du savoir et de leur mission sociale, ceci dans les trots mondes.

Il s'agit selon moi d'une surproduction de diplômes et d'une sous-production d'intellectuels visant a la créativité scientifique et a une attitude critique vis-à-vis d'eux-mêmes et des maux locaux. Je manifeste une exacerbation de la contradiction entre travail manuel et intellectuel. Cette course effrénée des jeunes en Europe occidentale vers le diplôme répond a deux visses contradictoires: d'une part relèvement du niveau de qualification professionnelle et de la culture gênerais, d'autre part mépris, dépréciation du travail manuel, productif, insertion a tout prix dans la société de consommation. En raison de la déqualification et de la surqualification du travail manuel et intellectuel on observe un secteur traditionnel et moderne dans les sphères des activités de production matérielle et intellectuelle. Masse croissants de manoeuvres recrutes avant tout parmi les travail leurs étrangers dans l es pays capitalistes développes et mince couche de spécialistes hautement qualifies. Une partie importante des diplômes deviennent parasitaires ou des gentleman's diplômes. Des phénomènes analogues se man infestent de nos jours dans les pays social sites. En Afrique j'ai également observe que la lutte contra l'analphabétisme, I 'extension du système scolaire, l'elevation rapide du taux de scolarisation, donc cette dialectique ascendants, était pervertie par une dialectique négative selon ['expression utilisées par le professeur Abdel-Malek. Les scolarises du secondaire fuient le travail manuel, le village, et préfèrent grossir dans les vines les masses flottantes, désoeuvrées, le sous-prolétariat.

Les diplômes vent insères dans la fonction publique indépendamment des besoins de la société. Ils visent a créer une clientèle tribale, ethnique ou autre pour satisfaire leurs ambitions personnelles et politiques. L'école en partie est source de chômage et de la production d'une élite parasitaire, bureaucratique, ceci en raison des désintégrations économiques, culturelles, sociales, rationnels, reproduisant le sous-développement.

L'intérêt de ce séminaire international est d'aborder les grand problèmes du monde d'aujourd'hui en avant recours a une approche globalisante, analytique, et critique, rejetant les variantes de l'européocentrisme et du tiermondisme. Je voudrais conclure en disant que la problématique du rôle de la science et de la technique dans la transformation du monde doit inclure les problèmes de la formation, de la déqualification massive, et de la surqualification élitistes de la force de travail manuel et intellectuel.

4. Dr. Alexander Kwapong raised three points. First, he referred to the UN Conference on S&T for Development (UNCSTD) in Vienna, August 1979, where he noted the dichotomy which existed between scientists and politicians. There was a gap between the two. Second, as an African living in Japan he was interested in the Japanese experience. His great hero is the founder of that dynasty which helped to create modern Japan. History of Japan should be of great interest to all developing countries. Historical dimensions must be underlined again and again in development, which is a long process of gestation. It is a question of interaction between exogenous and endogenous factors. He referred to the observation of Dr. Damjanovic who said that it is cheap to buy computers but it is expensive to create human skills. One should be aware of the importance which should be given to education. An infrastructure of human experience must be built. People must be motivated, mobilized, educated, trained, and naturally disciplined. Third, he referred to this seminar and said that this occasion should not end here. The knowledge conveyed here must be disseminated. It must be applied to realities. We should always move from theory into practice, and our ideas must be brought out.

5. Dr. A. N. Pandeya commented on Dr. Nakaoka's statement about how he was motivated by Dr. Pandeya to write about the Japanese experience. Credit should be given not to him but to vice-rector Dr. Mushakoji and to Dr. Anouar Abdel-Malek. What happened in Kyoto was relevant. Bridges are between the minds of peoples of different cultures. Commenting on the papers he said that they are rich, but he had three comments to make. First, that science and technology become tremendous forces when linked with the culture and tradition of a nation. This fusion is our duty, and the UNU should also attend fully to the problem. Second, the famous question raised by Weber on how it comes that science and technology and capitalism were European creations, is a false question. Science and technology are basic components of knowledge, and necessary ones in any culture. No culture or civilization can claim that it created science by itself. Our aim is to develop the capacity of generating knowledge. All the Third World is confronted with the question of creating the capacity to generate new knowledge. Third, we must seek to generate and disseminate knowledge to benefit the deprived sections of society. In India 28 per cent of the population are still composed of tribal groups. They are economically and politically the most deprived. This question should be given priority. Some disastrous views call for not disrupting these societies. We cannot leave people as museum pieces. Man is the target, and should remain our target all the time.

6. Dr. Luiz Pinguelli Rosa said that in general we put together science and technology, but sometimes it would be better to separate one from another to understand some aspects of the question which concerns the underdeveloped countries. Sometimes there is a large distance between the scientific knowledge and its applications to transform the world. I will take an example from the talk of Gregory Blue in this session. Magnetism was known in old China but it has been applied in large scale only by Western civilization, starting in Spain and Portugal in navigation at the time of the Commercial Revolution. What we can conclude is that we must have objective conditions for the applications of science, otherwise we do not have technology coming from the scientific knowledge. This is important for our discussion because many underdeveloped countries have put a lot of money into developing science - e.g., Brazil and Argentina - without profit to productive activities. The economic and political conditions of these countries lead them to buy everything they need from multinational corporations, even the design of the simplest product we can imagine. So we cannot discuss scientific and technological policy without discussing also the role of multinational corporations in the underdeveloped countries. We have spoken here very much of the internationalization as a boundary condition imposed by the multinational corporations, but if we are interested in the transformation of the world, we have to discuss better this kind of internationalization, instead of taking it as immutable input data.

7. Dr. Anouar Abdel-Malek in a short comment on Dr. Rosa's intervention warned of the dangers of utopianism against vision. He referred to conflicting priorities, and how we cannot speak of bad science and technology.

8. Dr. Celso Furtado ended the session by referring to the relation between science and civilization, the nature of science and ecumenical science.


Science and technology are not the products of modern societies alone. Science and technology in Europe have been influenced and based upon the heritage of other civilizations. Although distinctively modern science has arisen in Europe since the sixteenth century, the birth of modern science owed much to the preceding achievements of Greek, Indian, Chinese, and Islamic/Arabic science. For example, in the first fifteen centuries of our era, a large number of mechanical and other innovations were transmitted from China to Europe, and these were large factors not only in revolutionizing medieval Europe, but also in the constitution of modern science itself. The same can be said of the transmission of techniques and the exact sciences from the Arabic world to the Latin West through commercial and cultural contact and through the movement of translations into Latin between the ninth and fourteenth century. This point shows that science and technology are not creations of any one civilization alone. Science can flourish because of beneficial social and political conditions. When we consider the birth of modern science we see that it was also linked to the particular social evolution that took place in the West.

Science and technology continued to expand and flourish in the West, whereas they developed at a much slower rate in the civilizations of the East. Science and technology as developed in Europe consequently were employed as means for domination and suppression, which tended to hinder similar developments within the other regions of the world.

If favourable conditions can be created for the development of science and technology in any country, whether in the East or in the West, then there will be a flourishing, as can be seen from the Japanese experience. Here we have the example of a "late-coming" Asian country which was underdeveloped in science and technology, yet favourable conditions were created in that country because of the lack of foreign domination, because of the presence of an independent, strong control government, and because of the interaction of endogenous and exogenous factors. The Japanese experience shows that modern technology can be successfully incorporated into local culture, provided that certain prerequisites are met.

It seems beyond doubt that human freedom and national liberty depend on economic independence. Having in mind the role which science and technology play in economic development, attention is much given to the discrepancy in the level of research and education between the "North" and the "South," that is between developed nations leading in science, and the bulk of humanity, still striving in poverty for cultural recognition and freedom from domination. But pleading for more science and technology alone does not seem to affect very much cultural emancipation whose dominant aim is to preserve and revive national roots and culture and so to open the prospective of human civilization as a plurality of national cultures. As was outlined above, science and technology have been throughout their history deeply rooted in the human race, and all attempts to ascribe them to any one nation, or group, as local achievements or characteristics, are false. Whatever the national culture is like, science and technology can fit in, as complements. And though it may seem a paradox, no national culture will survive, unless it makes space within itself for the scientific technological culture.

Science cannot be developed primarily through the needs of local, divided practical activities. It is also impossible to plan scientific application in detail. Therefore, a broad population should be cultivated in science in order to help society to develop in a competent way. Similarly competence in technology is not a matter of choice or some local priorities. It is a part of a basic culture of a broad population.

Science and technology are a way of thinking. They deal with basic things in the human environment and in humans themselves. Therefore it is not possible for a society to benefit from science and technology without being exposed to their influence on human behaviour.

Far from looking upon science and technology as creating unemployment, they must be considered as liberating man from dull work and over-work. Science and technology are thus prerequisites of emancipation and development.

When speaking about science and technology it was usually implied that we were speaking only of physical and biological sciences. The role of social sciences was usually ignored. All societies need scientific social knowledge in order to build their own futures. Western social sciences have not universal validity and they cannot adequately cope with the problems faced by other peoples with different civilizations. The knowledge of the members of certain cultures about their own societies is not institutionalized nor systematically organized. The social science which is needed to help these peoples in their liberation effort must include both the systematic knowledge of their own societies and of the dominant hegemonic societies.

Hegemony is not being maintained only through repression, but also through cultural domination. The ability to conceive new visions is becoming decisive. We are confronted by the greatest challenge of all, the creation of a knowledge that is suited to our epoch. There are two faces of science and technology. There is the vision of social and economic growth, and there is the vision of an uncertain future and the illusory criticism of technology which gave rise to the slogan "protect us from technology." However, it is of decisive importance to realize that science and technology are not negative powers in themselves, they turn into that when becoming part of an antagonistic social arrangement. What we are seeking is a new type of society or civilization which is to be a more favourable framework for the development of the authentic potentials of man.

The new culture or civilization cannot be built without international solidarity. Without mutuality, there is no autonomy.

The coming era opens a glorious but also critical period of overall interdependence. We are living in a planetary world society. A pluralism of cultures is necessary in order to have the world become a society which is not uniform and indistinguishable. Only autonomy, independence, and equality can lead toward universal richness. Differences will remain. But the decisive question is whether they will lead to a mutual complementarity, or whether they will turn into hostility and antagonism.

La apropiación y la recuperación de las ciencias sociales en el contexto de los proyectos culturales endógenos

Guillermo Bonfil Batalla

Guillermo Bonfil Batalla

I. El problema de la creatividad endógena en ciencias sociales.
II. Conocimiento social, ciencia e ideología
III. La formación de una intelectualidad India contemporánea.
IV. Notas para un proyecto de desarrollo endógeno de las ciencias sociales.


Pretendo presentar en este documento algunos elemen tos que contribuyen a la discusión sobre el problema de qué relaciones puede haber entre las ciencias sociales, reconocidas convencionalmente como tales en la tradición occidental, y la visión sociohistérica organizada que todo pueblo posee en el contexto de su propia cultura. Se trata, en última instancia, de las relaciones entre dos modos del conocimiento sobre lo social, en vistas al establecimiento de alternativas socioculturales para el desarrollo.

El marco de referencia de las páginas siguientes lo forman los pueblos indios de América Latina.

I. El problema de la creatividad endógena en ciencias sociales.

Ya es un lugar común exigir, en cualquier proyecto de desarrollo, sea éste convencional o alternativo, la realización de investigaciones sociales. Todo mundo acepta que el conocimiento científico de la realidad social cuyo desarrollo se busca promover, es un requisito ineludible que debe cumplirse por personal calificado y cuyos resultados aportaran - informaciones indispensables para guiar las diversas modelada des, etapas y aspectos del programa en cuestión. La idea de que la participación de las ciencias sociales es necesaria está tan generalizada, que a veces se incluye un equipo de especialistas en estas disciplinas sin que se tenga claridad de cual es la función que habrán de desempeñar ni cuales las - aportaciones que de ellos se deben esperar; se incorporan por que se presupone que debe haber científicos sociales en todo equipo de este tipo.

La cuestión se complica cuando lo que se discute no es ya si participan o no científicos sociales, sino cual, dentro de las muchas corrientes y escuelas que conforman el universo de las ciencias sociales, resulta la más adecuada para los objetivos que se persiguen. En efecto, la diversidad de tendencias teóricas y metodológicas en el campó de las ciencias sociales es un hecho palpable que, además, parece acentuarse en ciertas épocas. Las ideologías políticas implícitas o atribuidas a cada corriente de pensamiento identificable en las ciencias sociales, juega con frecuencia un papel determinante en la selección final; esto, uñido a la preponderancia de cierta corriente en las instituciones y los aparatos que auspician y llevan a cabo los proyectos, va conformando paula finamente la hegemonía de cierto "modo de pensar" la ciencia social, con su correspondiente modo de hacerla.

En todo caso, la determinación de cuál ciencia social habrá de intervenir en la formulación de un proyecto de desarrollo, queda encuadrada exclusivamente en el marco de in teresas y convicciones de los sectores que toman la decisión. No entraremos aquí a discutir cuales son los mecanismos que legitiman a una u otra corriente; participaran en ese proceso de legitimación, seguramente, las instituciones especializadas en producir y reproducir este campó de conocimiento convencionalmente acotado; intervendrán también los especialistas reconocidos que detentan el control de la sabiduría igual mente reconocida; quienes no intervienen en ningún caso, son precisamente los sectores que serán objeto de estudio. Ellos son objeto, nunca sujeto, porque se asume que la ciencias social es un conocimiento que algunos adquieren para sistematizar e interpretar de manera científica lo que otros son, guíe reo y pueden.

En efecto, ¿cuándo se ha pensado que los indios de una tribu amazónica o los campesinos mayas de Yucatán tengan algo que decir en relación con las ciencias sociales? Se supone, sí, que ellos deberán aportar información; que ellos mismos son datos. Si acaso se admite que sus aspiraciones, sus "necesidades sentidas" deben ser conocidas por el investigador social y habrán de tomarse en cuenta en la organización de los planes de desarrollo. Pero no pasa por la mente la - idea de que puedan aportar algo a la "manera de pensar" la -ciencias social.

Veamos ahora otro aspecto del problema. Un rasgo común a todos los esfuerzos para encontrar alternativas socio culturales para el desarrollo, consiste en la afirmación de que todos los sectores involucrados en el proceso deben participar activamente en él. Esta participación se quiere consciente y profundamente motivada. No basta con la participación pasiva del informante que simplemente responde cuestiona ríos de entrevista; tampoco con la pura participación asalariada de los individuos que aportan su mano de obra para la ejecución de los proyectos. Se pretende lograr una participación creativa, que ponga en juego todas las capacidades individuales y sociales, tanto en la concepción como en la ejecución de las actividades encaminadas al desarrollo. No se trata de que la gente aprenda por imitación, sino de que desarrolle, saque de s! y acreciente el enorme caudal de sus potencialidades creativas. Es un proceso interno, endógeno, en el que se insertaran oportunamente y conforme resulten necesarios los conocimientos y las habilidades desarrollados por so ciudades tecnológicamente más avanzadas.

Si esto es valido para la tecnología y para la organización de trabajo, ¿como Puede expresarse en el ámbito del conocimiento social? ¿Hay una Ciencia social recuperable en todo grupo que posee una cultura distintiva? Si hay tecnologías paralelas o alternativas ¿hay también ciencias sociales paralelas y alternativas? ¿Se puede insertar en el tronco de las ciencias sociales "nativas" el conocimiento de las ciencias sociales reconocidas y legitimadas, o solo cabe, en este terreno, la traducción del conocimiento? Estamos en un campó resbaloso en el que ciencia e ideología no se pueden separar fácilmente. Pero, a fin de cuentas, no es un problema esencialmente diferente del que se nos presenta cuando discutimos sobre tecnología agrícola o prácticas médicas.

De hecho la necesidad de rescatar el conocimiento social propio es mucho mas apremiante e indispensable que la de recuperar muchas otras arcas del conocimiento endógeno. No se conciben alternativas socioculturales al desarrollo que no impliquen el reconocimiento y la legitimidad de un modelo de sociedad propio y tal modelo solo puede formularse a partir de una concepción sistematizada y organizada de lo que es la sociedad, de co» se transforma y porqué, de cuál ha sido su historia y cuales sus recursos para construir el futuro. Se trata, pues, de una sociología o si se prefiere, de una "etno sociología..

Apuntemos ahora algunos aspectos relevantes para el problema de como rescatar y desarrollar esa sociología endógena y como vincularla fructíferamente con las ciencias sociales reconocidas por la tradición dominante.

Contents - Previous - Next