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Summer School on Interdependent Inequalities in Latin America São Paulo, Brasil, November 1-5, 2010

The first Summer School on Interdependent Inequalities in Latin America, was organized jointly by desiguALdades.net and the Center for Metropolitan Studies (CEM), São Paulo, Brazil. It took place in São Paulo, from 1 to 5 November, 2010. The organizers  welcomed up to 30 junior scholars or researchers from around the world for this intensive program.

For more information please see the summer school program.

The organizers

desiguALdades.net is an interdisciplinary, international, and multi-institutional research network on social inequalities in Latin America, supported by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) in the frame of its funding line on area studies. The Lateinamerika-Institut of the Freie Universität Berlin (LAI, Institute for Latin American Studies), and the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut and Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (IAI, Ibero-American Institute of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Berlin) are in charge of the research network.

CEM (Centro de Estudos da Metrópole - Center for Metropolitan Studies) is a Brazilian research center with a multidisciplinary approach whose main aim is to identify the most relevant factors to explain living conditions in metropolises. It is focused on the mechanisms that produce and reproduce inequalities regarding job markets, state action, public policies and sociability. CEM’s researches are sponsored by Fapesp (São Paulo Research Foundation) through its RIDC programme (Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers), and by CNPq (Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development) through its INCT programme (Scientific and Technological National Institutes).

Scope of the Summer School

The Summer School on Interdependent Inequalities in Latin America was intended to create space for researchers to explore the mechanisms through which inequalities are produced and reproduced in Latin America. By putting emphasis on the interdependencies between different world regions, desiguALdades.net aimed at overcoming the methodological nationalism that until now has dominated research on social inequality. Such a paradigmatic shift, by systematically focusing on the consequences of growing global and transregional connectivity, is expected to shed new light on the severe and highly persisting forms of social, economic, and cultural inequalities that have characterized Latin America throughout its history. CEM employs concepts of poverty and inequalities that go beyond definitions based exclusively on income. Different dimensions of deprivation – e.g. deficient access to jobs or social services, as well as fragile social ties – also shape the well-being of individuals and communities. The research challenge is to develop a more accurate understanding of these critical dimensions and to build explanatory bridges between them.


The Summer School was guided by three central research questions:

1) To what extent the distribution of resources and the access to aspired social positions in Latin America are shaped by global and transregional interdependencies, in addition to local, regional and national ones?

2) To what extent does the embeddedness of inequalities create enduring power differences and unequal opportunities for the social, economic, and political participation of the respective individuals, communities, or societies? And what kind of entanglements does create new opportunities for overcoming inequalities?

3) To what extent do different dimensions of deprivation overlap and create cumulative disadvantages or, on the contrary, favor the relief or overcoming of poverty and inequalities? To what extent do access to jobs and social services, as well as certain designs of social ties, contribute to minimize or deepen inequalities?



. Classes, workshops and lectures with international specialists.

. Discussions of papers prepared in advance and presented by the participants.

. Interdisciplinary readings (including those ones previous to the courses).

The activities were at a postgraduate/PhD level, and the language of the instruction for all courses was English, Spanish and/or Portuguese.


The main target group of the Summer School was doctoral students from different Social Sciences disciplines with interest in inequalities in Latin American contexts. In addition, postdoctoral researchers were welcomed to apply.

Extracurricular activities

The program of the Summer School was also comprised:

Visit to a neighborhood on the outskirts of São Paulo, joined by researchers, inhabitants, and members of local associations.

Farewell dinner.


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