The process of institutionalization of sociology in Catalonia. Research protocol (in Catalan)

PhD Research Project, 2009.

This white paper included a preliminary sketch for the study of the process of institutionalization of sociology in Catalonia. It is constituted by an analytical model and a system of hypotheses. The purpose of the model is to analyze how the different agents involved in the process established a certain structure of relations (field), the inequalities generating the institutionalization of this structure, and the social conditions in which this process occurs. To understand these social conditions it is argued that there are three processes affecting the configuration of the system of relations or sociological field in Catalonia: 1) the process of conquest of freedom taking place during the last stages of Franco’s dictatorship, 2) the contradictions of late capitalism affecting a society which is in the way of their industrialization and modernization and 3) the historical problem of cultural oppression (national). These three guiding hypotheses are gradually sharpened and specified throughout the report. This is done using the works in the sociology of sociology by Pierre Bourdieu, which pivot around the key concepts of institutional scientific capital, pure scientific capital and media metacapital. The end result of applying the system of Bourdieu to these three guiding hypotheses is the progressive establishment of a system of hypotheses more sharpened and specific, more suitable to be tested empirically. It is argued that it is established in the Catalan sociological field a system of relations in which sociologists have very little scientific autonomy (pure scientific capital), since they depend extraordinarily upon customers which request them sociological productions and provide them with resources to conduct research (institutional scientific capital). That is, the model of relations prevailing in the political field is introduced within the field of sociology. The main feature of this system of relations is the existence of a double circuit: a circuit that depends on “Spanish” political agents, involving sociologists who depend on them, and another circuit that depends on “Catalan” political agents, involving sociologists related to this orbit. Another central feature is that this system also infects the sociological labor market. At the end of the text the issue of the employment of sociologists and professionalization of sociology is considered again, making clear how the study of the process of institutionalization of sociology can serve to explain causally phenomena such as low insertion of sociologists in the labor market or other events such as the social image of the sociologist in Catalan society.