artigos e ensaios - 2002 / Mariza Peirano

"This horrible time of papers".

Documents and national values

"When [in 1954], after almost twenty years of being stateless, Blücher took the oath and his papers arrived in the mail, he informed Arendt that the horrible time without papers 'in this even more horrible time of papers' was finally over – 'till the next time'."

(Elon 2001: 57-58)

In Brazilian contemporary social sciences there is a subtle but persistent division of intellectual labor, in which the state is seen as the legitimate field of study for sociologists and political scientists. Accordingly, anthropologists should continue to study traditional societies or, at most, to elucidate questions related to sociability in modern societies. Of course, this division of labor, heir of the times when social scientists studied their own societies (or utopias) and anthropologists, non-western civilizations or primitive peoples, is strongly denied today as outdated, but persists in the social sciences agenda when one detects that sociologists and political scientists yield to the state and anthropologists accept that it is their task to examine national issues. It also reveals itself in another latent dichotomy where the state is related to issues of authority, and the nation to solidarity. When proposals and/or diagnoses of transnationality, globalization and world integration come to the fore, social scientists give testimony of this intriguing division between state and nation which, paradoxically, indicates the inclusive model they are part of.Leia na íntegra...