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Volume 53 / Social Sciences


KEVIN J. HEALY, Foundation Representative, Inter-American Foundation, Ballston, Virginia
RUTH LLANOS, Professor of Sociology, Universidad Nacional de San Andrés, La Paz

SOCIOLOGICAL PUBLICATIONS FOR THIS PERIOD address important social, economic, and political questions in the recent context of change in both Paraguay and Bolivia. For example, the continuing implementation of structural adjustment policies has worsened conditions of children and women on the streets of major urban centers and in the workforce as well as for the peasantry (items bi 93001730 and bi 91024246). In both countries, various publications have offered data and interpretations of varying degrees of sophistication about gender issues in contemporary society (items bi 93001717, bi 93001733, bi 91026959, bi 91026965, bi 93001719, bi 93001732, bi 93001724, bi 91026979, and bi 91026999). In Bolivia, various profiles on the conditions of women were commissioned by institutions involved in the provision of social services to low-income families. Bolivian studies on diverse women's demographic and other social topics have concentrated in the urban centers of La Paz, Cochabamba, and Santa Cruz, yet often fail to take into account the cultural background of the subject populations.

In Paraguay, sociologists have been following the effects of the democratic transition after decades of Stroessner's dictatorial rule. Labor and agrarian movements as well as the changing behavior of important political and economic actors have been examined (items bi 91006613, bi 91006077, bi 91006084, bi 92003339, bi 91006050, and bi 91006072). Several studies show a sophisticated analysis of economic growth patterns under Paraguay's agro-export rural development model which actually worsened conditions for the rural majority (items bi 91024245, bi 92003335, and bi 91026972). The new democratic political opening of society has allowed the land reform issue to surface for discussion and analysis among social scientists. González Ferreira studies peasant survival strategies of households and communities (item bi 91006291).

Meanwhile, in Bolivia, the reborn liberal democracy has endured a decade, giving social scientists a new and interesting vantage point for analyzing various aspects of the political process. Various critical works have analyzed the evolution of political democracy in Bolivia, several highlighting the fall of the labor movement and the rise of neo-populist leaders who have emerged to compete in presidential elections using new methods of political clientelism (items bi 91013620, bi 91026976, bi 93001721, and bi 91005389). Another emerging issue in the Bolivian democratic order is expressed in the ferment over proposals for constitutional reform toward a pluri-national State (items bi 91026955 and bi 93019364). Sociologists have taken a look back at the radio stations which were important in the heyday of the activism of the mineworkers (items bi 93001727 and bi 91009065) and have helped to advance a genre of revisionist social history (items bi 93001722 and bi 93001724). The impact of radio has also gained the attention of sociologists in Paraguay (item bi 91026967).

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