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Volume 63 / Social Sciences


W.L. GOLDFRANK, Professor of Sociology and Latin American and Latino Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz

OVER THE 15 YEARS since the transition to democracy began, Chilean social science has grown in sophistication and in cosmopolitanism, importing themes, theories, and methodologies from Western Europe and the US. This trend began with the return of many exiles and refugees in the 1980s, well before the electoral defeat of the dictatorship, and it has accelerated more recently as the increased prosperity of the country has facilitated higher levels of scholarly interchange. In sociology and anthropology, Chileans are studying many of the same phenomena as their "northern" counterparts—enterprise organization, poverty, crime, the industrialization of the countryside, and especially gender. The boom in the last of these topics, noted in the previous volumes of this series, continues and shows no signs of abating. Meanwhile, an increased political opening has occurred, consequent to more recent revelations about the financial crimes and human rights violations of General Pinochet, his family, and his close associates. This opening has led to increased research and a growing number of publications dealing with repression and human rights from 1973 to 1990, and one (see Rosas Aravena, item #bi2006001934#) describing and analyzing elements of the repressive apparatus that continued to operate after the transition. If not uniquely Chilean, this new research focus promises to be an important tendency for at least the short run.

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