Research Laboratorary on Non-Exemplary Sociology

About us

Our Research Group has initiated its trajectory at the Fluminense Federal University in 2005. Since the beginning we have explored questions as land, gender, racism, social movements, State and collective action in African, Asian and Latin-American Countries. In the exemplary social sciences these subjects and places have been traditionally mobilized to evoke narratives around the lack or deviance regarding political forms, economical and social development and morality.

 Our sociological perspective aims to challenge this kind of explanation because it is orientated towards an exemplary narrative in which the only epistemological reasoning is based on the comparison between the euro-american  processes and the rest. This exemplary sociology has converted some purified findings from the classics into a centre or, in our words, thermometers for a better or desirable social life. As persons and actor we don’t want to describe and be described as “something like” or as “an example of”… We claim that actresses, actants and any other sort of sociological subject must be fully described, they must have clear substance and effects.

Our main challenge is to build sociological narratives that must not express themselves through terms like development, positive/negative, centre/peripheries. We want not only to break with these current existing theoretical narratives, but to force them to incorporate in their scope process that are qualitative and quantitative significant in the major part of the word but have no place in the still colonial form of the discipline.

The central question for the Research Laboratory in Non-Exemplary Sociology is to build new forms of narrative through the production of innovative subjects. These practices are intended to lead us towards alternative theories and methods capable to avoid concepts like periphery, development, clientelism, populism, civil society, State, rural, urban, culture among others that have bee particularly used against Southern and Eastern peoples.

Currently based at the University of Brasilia’s Department of Sociology, the Laboratory brings together undergrad, master and PhD students from UnB and other universities.

Our theory-method-politics

Our group is inspired and seek to have intense dialogues with a range of movements inside and outside sociology such as Southern Sociologies, Post-Colononial Studies, Subaltern Studies, Decolonial-Monderninity, Feminist Epistemologies, Actor-Network Theories and Social Studies of Science among others. In each of these movements we find sharp critiques to hegemonic narratives centred and limited by terms as maternities, rationalizations, secularizations, proletarization and development among others.

From these dialogues, we face the following challenges:

  • To develop a severe critique of hegemonic forms of knowledge in social sciences;
  • Never take for granted the social life as subject or data but to consider it a product of our own research an theories;
  • Symmetrically dialogue with the social sciences produced outside the Euro-North America;
  • Subvert research subjects that were stabilized by classical and contemporary social theories;
  • To create alternative research methods allowing the emergence and production of new subjects;
  • To Create and distribute agency to subjects defined by their heterogeneities and not by singularities.