Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Sociedad (Buenos Aires)]]> vol. 2 num. SE lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<B>Phenomenology and the Social Sciences</B>: <B>a story with no beginning</B>]]> The relation between phenomenology and social sciences has gone through various stages. In phenomenological philosophy, its outstanding landmarks can be found in: a) the counterpoint that Husserl posited for the different sciences and his mounting interest in social sciences, b) the reinforcement of this line of thought by his followers -Schutz and Merleau-Ponty, for example-, and c) the radicalization of "non-intentional phenomenology" produced by Levinas and Henry. In the ambit of social sciences, Schutz has been acknowledged to have been first in trying to establish the connection between both disciplines by broaching the phenomenology of the natural attitude understood as phenomenological psychology, thus freeing social sciences from the rule of philosophy because. From this perspective, they do not stem from it but from the life-world, a space that can be accessed by the methodology of social research, however restrictedly because it ends subdued to methodological deliberations. As a result, the relation between phenomenology and ontology remains unaccounted for. In this work we therefore outline a four-step program aimed at awaking social phenomenology from its dogmatic slumber. <![CDATA[<B>The university experience and students' narratives</B>: <B>a study on our times</B>]]> This paper explores the characteristic modes of the university experience as perceived by students of Buenos Aires University in the early 21st Century. In our times, the university experience appears as a significant object of historical research in a scenario where academic traditions are undergoing a crisis, while we witness social reconfiguration and a new type of insertion both in Argentinean public universities as in those of other countries. From the narratives of students' lives, a reconstruction of daily life in a university context enables us to have an insight into the new dynamics of the cultural process taking place in the institutions and to identify factors and phenomena that point to elements of continuity and discontinuity with reference to other historical periods. <![CDATA[<B>The loss of one's own</B>]]> The present late-modern times of globalization under the rule of the market pose new, traumatic forms of exile resulting from the ruins of national identities, of millions of people fleeing their countries and crossing borders in either legal or illegal ways, of walls raised to prevent entrance of travelers coming from an economic and cultural post modernity which is dividing the world into lands of labor and lands of misery and death. Modernity brought along a profound sign of exile, caused by political, social, and spiritual uprooting, by the decentering of native times, spaces, and regions that gradually faded away. This modern kind of uprooting was posited in the 18th Century by J.J. Rousseau in his novel Julia y la Nueva Heloisa. Still, if we go back to the origins of Western civilization, the Aegean world inflicted the penalty of exile as a most serious punishment, and looked upon exiles as living dead. In Euripides' tragedy Medea, the protagonist exemplifies heinous exile within a play that outlines various instances of exile. Coming back to modernity, it is then when we shall find literary, poetic, and philosophic exposures of the infinite varieties of the loss of a sense of belonging, personal inscriptions, the homes of the soul, all of them sorrows that may or may not entail geographic or non geographic violence. Modern subjectivity felt exiled from language, from individual marks, from the words that named the world, and from the very sense that identified life. This exiled subjectivity composed the modern esthetic symphony: to be a stranger in one's own homeland; to be a foreigner to filiation. In the realm of history, 19th and 20th Century capitalism found, in exile, the new foundation of a vast part of America through substantial throngs of migrants who had been forced out of Europe for economic, political, racial, and cultural reasons. <![CDATA[<B>Matters of method</B>]]> This paper examines the traditional division between science and the essay, discussing the validity of such division within the sphere of the social sciences. The divide that is usually made in the name of objectivity would amount to foregoing the possibility of inquiring into the ways in which knowledge can be committed to truth. Such an inquiry, in turn, leads to locating knowledge in the dramatics of the body, of experience, and of thought, since the essay is not a matter of style or form but, at the core, it is a matter of method. It does not detract from research -it is not less committed to empirical research or factual verification-; on the contrary, it endows both instances with a moment of self-reflection expressed in writing. The essay as method means viewing writing as one moment along the line of research: basically, as the moment for self-research. <![CDATA[<B>The institutional crisis at the university</B>: <B>the forms of our university politics and the <I>university form of politics</i></B>]]> The institutional crisis at UBA and other prestigious national universities is a crisis of their organic autonomy stemming from the gradual depletion suffered by the Argentinean tradition of a university demos that has by now shrunk to a realm of positions of power and of strategic policies without any relation to knowledge or any kind of substantive debate about the University. In mass universities, the said depletion follows into the footsteps of the most strategic and instrumental forms used in party politics, blurring the boundaries between universities and the society. However, the Argentinean university demos is filled with a wealth of contents and has not ceased to be a source of sense when it comes to articulating ways of critical resistance that contribute to the form adopted by politics in the university. It is precisely this comparative advantage that is renounced when our forms of university politics behave as parasites feeding on a form of power which, intra muros, reproduces the hegemonic and domination ways typical of systemic politics. <![CDATA[<B>Plastic surgeons</B>: <B>from beauty as a divine gift to Faustian imperatives</B>]]> This paper explores the current boom of plastic surgery as a component of a wider phenomenon: an increasing concern for the body appearance in contemporary society, with the resulting urge to resort to a variety of methods so as to adapt organic bodies (visibly unsuitable) to the ideal forms inspired by models established by the media. A controversial offspring of medicine, plastic surgery often sells its prodigies as the outcomes of design techniques applied to the living body. These methods bear a relation to the edition tools used on digital images in order to correct defects in the "exemplary" body photographs spread by the mass media. It is as if rather than operating on a body by making an incision in the flesh, surgeons sculpted features and defective parts of the body with their scalpels, touching up the imperfections of bodies drawn as static, bidimensional images that will be consumed by the eyes. In spite of the novelty of this phenomenon, its manifestations echo some of the mythical characters of our philosophic and mythical tradition, which can illuminate its more curious and significant aspects.