cover of book

Terms of Exchange: Brazilian Intellectuals and the French Social Sciences
by Ian Merkel
University of Chicago Press, 2022
Cloth: 978-0-226-81936-5 | Paper: 978-0-226-81979-2 | eISBN: 978-0-226-81937-2
Library of Congress Classification H53.B6M47 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 300.98161

A collective intellectual biography that sheds new light on the Annales school, structuralism, and racial democracy.
Would the most recognizable ideas in the French social sciences have developed without the influence of Brazilian intellectuals? While any study of Brazilian social sciences acknowledges the influence of French scholars, Ian Merkel argues the reverse is also true: the “French” social sciences were profoundly marked by Brazilian intellectual thought, particularly through the University of São Paulo. Engaging with the idea of the “cluster” as a way to define the intertwined networks of Claude Lévi-Strauss, Fernand Braudel, Roger Bastide, and Pierre Monbeig as they overlapped at USP and engaged with Brazilian scholars such as Mário de Andrade, Gilberto Freyre, and Caio Prado Junior, Merkel traces the remaking of both Brazilian and French social sciences after 1945.
Through this collective intellectual biography, Terms of Exchange reveals connections that shed new light on the Annales school, structuralism, and racial democracy, even as it prompts us to revisit established thinking on the process of knowledge formation through fieldwork and intellectual exchange. At a time when canons are being rewritten, this book reframes the history of modern social scientific thought.

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