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The circulation of US social psychology: a comparison of France and Brazil (1920-1945)

Grant number: 20/07057-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): January 04, 2022
Effective date (End): August 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology - Other specific Sociologies
Principal Investigator:Marcia Cristina Consolim
Grantee:Marcia Cristina Consolim
Host Investigator: Christophe Charle
Host Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos , SP, Brazil
Research place: Institut d'Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine (IHMC), France  


This research consists of a comparative study of the 'sciences of man' practiced in France and Brazil to analyze how sociological factors impacted the reception of US 'social psychology' in the Interwar period in both countries. It is intended to highlight the following aspects: 1. The position of both countries in the transnational space and the relationship both had with the United States through public or private funding institutions; 2. The role played by each national intellectual tradition, Brazilian and French, regarding the new sciences of man; 3. The social and intellectual trajectory of agents, in particular related to higher education, professionalization, and the international circulation of intellectuals in both countries; 4. The role of the institutionalization of the sciences of man at various levels of education - primary, secondary, and third-level - as well as in scientific-technical social policy institutions. This involves showing that, despite the differences, both intellectual contexts had the same oppositions: US social psychology was perceived as more positive and scientific in opposition to a philosophical or abstract knowledge of French inspiration. Moreover, this perception results in both cases from contact with US research/authors, publicized by funding from US philanthropy. Finally, the same type of adaptation of new knowledge can be observed in both national contexts, resulting in greater theoretical and methodological eclecticism. The differences resulted from the relationship of intellectuals with the state and teaching institutions: in Brazil 'social psychology' was practiced by doctors and given prestige by reformist educators, institutionalized in recently created higher education institutions; in France it referred to a debate about the borders between psychology and sociology in the Durkheimian circle and its competitors, whose institutional impact was restricted to extra-university scientific institutions. (AU)

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