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The Civil Sphere in Latin America


Jeffrey C. Alexander, Carlo Tognato, Nelson Arteaga, Javier Arzuaga, María Luengo, M. Angélica Thumala, Liliana Martínez Pérez, Celso M. Villegas, Mayumi Shimizu, Trevor Stack, Isabel Jijón, Peter Kivisto, Giuseppe Sciortino
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  • Date Published: November 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108445870

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About the Authors
  • Social thinkers have criticized Latin American development as incomplete, backward, and anti-modern. This volume demonstrates that, while often deeply compromised and fragmented, Latin American civil spheres have remained resilient, institutionally and culturally, generating new oppositional movements, independent journalism, rebellious intellectuals, electoral power, and critical political parties. In widely different arenas, dissidents have employed the coruscating language of the civil sphere to pollute their oppressors in the name of justice. In the 1970s and 1980s, political thinkers heralded the resurrection of Latin American civil society, envisioning a new world of freedom and stability. Corruption, inequality, racism, and exclusion become pressing and urgent 'social problems', not despite the promises of democracy, but because of them. The premise of this volume is that Latin American civil spheres are powerful, even as they are compromised, creating challenges to anti-civil culture and institutions that trigger social reform. It is the first of three volumes that place civil sphere theory in a global context.

    • Each empirical contribution employs, in innovative and deeply illuminating ways, civil sphere theory
    • The chapters are written by professors who work almost exclusively in Latin American universities, and are experts in distinctive national and institutional domains
    • Chapters address themselves to issues, strains, problems, and controversies of today's Latin America
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'To conclude, The Civil Sphere in Latin America approaches the right questions in order to produce a theory of Latin America's civil sphere. It also approaches the right cases, showing the tension between a civil sphere and political, patrimonial, economic and public security dimensions in Latin America.' Leonardo Avritzer, European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108445870
    • length: 277 pages
    • dimensions: 150 x 230 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: for democracy in Latin America Jeffrey C. Alexander and Carlo Tognato
    Part I. Scandals and Civil Indignation:
    1. The civil sphere in Mexico: between democracy and authoritarianism Nelson Arteaga and Javier Arzuaga
    2. Shaping solidarity in Argentina: the power of the civil sphere in repairing violence against women María Luengo
    3. Civil indignation in Chile: recent collusion scandals in the retail industry M. Angélica Thumala
    Part II. Militancy, Civility, and Polarization:
    4. La Joven Cuba: confrontation, conciliation, and the quest for the civil through blogging Liliana Martínez Pérez
    5. ¿La Clase Media en Positivo? The civil and uncivil uses of 'the Middle Class' in Venezuela, 1958–2016 Celso M. Villegas
    6. The civil life of the university: enacting dissent and resistance on a Colombian campus Carlo Tognato
    Part III. Law, Order, and Solidarity:
    7. Police officers in contradiction: anti-civility in the São Paulo state military police Mayumi Shimizu
    8. Citizenship and the established civil sphere in provincial Mexico Trevor Stack
    Part IV. Commentary and Conclusion: Commentary: is civil society dangerous for democracy? New directions for civil sphere theory in Latin America Isabel Jijón
    Conclusion: democracy and the civil sphere in Latin America Peter Kivisto and Giuseppe Sciortino.

  • Editors

    Jeffrey C. Alexander, Yale University, Connecticut
    Jeffrey C. Alexander, Lillian Chavenson Saden Professor of Sociology at Yale University, Connecticut, is the author of twenty books and editor of twenty-five more. He is one of the creators of contemporary cultural sociology, founder and director of the Yale Center for Cultural Sociology, and co-editor of The American Journal of Cultural Sociology.

    Carlo Tognato, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota
    Carlo Tognato is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He is the author of Central Bank Independence: Cultural Codes and Symbolic Performances (2012) and editor of Cultural Agents Reloaded: The Legacy of Antanas Mockus (2018).


    Jeffrey C. Alexander, Carlo Tognato, Nelson Arteaga, Javier Arzuaga, María Luengo, M. Angélica Thumala, Liliana Martínez Pérez, Celso M. Villegas, Mayumi Shimizu, Trevor Stack, Isabel Jijón, Peter Kivisto, Giuseppe Sciortino

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