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Former President of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso: A Most Public Sociologist

The second article in a series highlighting prominent public intellectuals presenting at ASA’s 2004 Annual Meeting in San Francisco

In 1982, during a stint as a visiting professor at Berkeley, Fernando Henrique Cardoso paused, mid-lecture, to reflect on the repression faced by Latin American intellectuals under military regimes. In the United States, he mused, academics are allowed to speak so much more freely than in Brazil; but perhaps it is because no one off-campus ever bothers to listen to them.

Twenty years later, that comment has a somewhat ironic ring. Then, Cardoso was a noted sociologist who had been exiled by Brazil’s military regime from 1964 to 1968. In 1969, when he returned, the regime canceled Cardoso’s political and civil rights and denied him permission to lecture, so he moved to an independent think tank off-campus.

Being Heard

But today when Cardoso speaks, people across the world listen. After two terms as Brazil's president, Cardoso is surely the most public sociologist in the world, a global figure who is currently advising the United Nations on how to incorporate global civil society into international deliberations.

also in this issue
Teaching Sociology in High School: A Pilot Project Begins in Chicago

In 2001, the American Sociological Association (ASA) established a national Task Force comprised of high school, college, and university faculty. The Task Force was charged with developing and pilot testing a curriculum for an Advanced Placement (AP) type course to be taught in high schools.

The 2004 World Social Forum

This is the first of three articles on the January 2004 World Social Forum meeting in Mumbai, India. These articles echo the “Public Sociologies” theme of the 2004 ASA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

A Movement Rising

The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it. — Karl Marx

The fourth World Social Forum (WSF), January 16-21, 2004, in Mumbai (Bombay), India, was an amazing gathering and experience. About 130,000 delegates from 150 countries and from most of India’s 26 states participated. We marched, rallied, danced, sang, drummed, performed street theater, talked, dialogued, shared knowledge and experiences, cultural expressions, art and video, organized a peoples’ media center, networked, and deepened existing relationships. Collectively we took another critical step in building today’s global bottom-up movement for social transformation to truly create another world.

Copyright © 2004 by the American Sociological Association. All rights reserved.