Some articles, therefore, focus on world affairs and how they impact our institutions, while others describe local situations and trends with a critical perspective. The collection is divided into five major themes. The first section deals with society, recognizing common areas of social and anthropological research, such as demographics, migration, the economy, crime, urbanism, labor, family and gender relations, identities and world views. This section ends with a glance at the issue of the environment, recognizing its centrality in today''s world.
In the following section, globalization receives special attention because of its dominant historical weight. A difference is established between globalization as a cultural and information phenomenon brought about by new technologies and globalization as a particular way of organizing the world economy, based on a prevailing conservative neo-liberal ideology.
Politics follows as the next section. The editors considered it necessary to include in this section a glossary of political terms which are commonly used with faulty precision. For the survival of democracy''s logic, we need to increase the function and relevance of debate in the public sphere. Real communication based on commonly accepted terms and concepts is necessary in order to navigate in the whirlpool of everyday media and political parties'' discourses. The section also establishes the difference between the political, understood here as the fundamental and conjunctural affairs of the polis, and the term politics, meaning matters pertaining to electoral campaigns and the overall struggle for the control and administration of State institutions.
A dossier on the contemporary antimony of left and right, as it applies to global affairs closes the political section. We suppose that identities based on alternate social visions, shared by the rest of the world, provide a deeper sense of political identity than local issues, such as, the "status issue," in our case.
A thematically diverse section on education and culture closes the book. The university as an institution is examined in its postmodern context and an interesting proposal of reform is offered as a means of restating its primary social value. Another article examines the contradictions of educational ideals today. The underlying theme is that the social vision of education is more institutionally relevant than its technical and operational functions.
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