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III Congreso Internacional Historia a Debate Santiago de Compostela

III Congreso Internacional Historia a Debate
Santiago de Compostela, 14-18 de julio de 2004


Historia Mixta como historia global

TEMA III.2. HISTORIA MIXTA COMO HISTORIA GLOBAL

Sociedad y cultura: comparacin y confronto historiogrfico

Society and culture in historical paradigms competing or complementary notions?


Ciro Flamarion Cardoso (Catedrtico de Historia Antigua y Medieval, Universidad Federal Fluminense, Niteri, Brasil; director del Centro de Estudios Interdisciplinarios de la Antigedad, Universidad Federal Fluminense)

RESUMEN

Es nuestra intencin demostrar que el concepto de cultura, aunque constituya un punto de referencia historiogrfico en la actualidad e exprese un desideratum, o un programa, de parte de los defensores de la Nueva Historia Cultural, resulta irremediablemente polismico, puesto que, despus de ms de doscientos aos de uso, remite a definiciones y enfoques variados al punto de, a veces, resultar irreconciliables o aun contradictorios. Tambin nos interesa defender la idea de que tal concepto en ningn caso puede, con legitimidad, agotar las realidades que el historiador debe estudiar. Es decir, aun cuando la Nueva Historia Social se presenta con alguna frecuencia como alternativa a la Historia Econmico-Social, no es posible que la nocin de cultura expulse la de sociedad sin volver ms pobre a la disciplina histrica. Como defiende el antroplogo surafricano Adam Kuper, lo mejor sera abandonar el concepto de cultura. Esto no va a ocurrir, sin embargo, lo sabe muy bien Kuper y lo s yo; entonces, lo mejor sera trabajar con ambas nociones, sociedad y cultura, y, en el caso de esta ltima, evitar tomarla como concepto reduccionista que se autoexplique o, por el simple hecho de su empleo, signifique algo en forma automtica. Es obligacin de cada historiador definir cul es su nocin de cultura, previamente a emplearla, puesto que el trmino en s no remite a una realidad cuya percepcin sea inmediata.


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This conference attempts to clarify the contents and relations between two concepts culture and society as notions related to historical paradigms generated during the twentieth century. These notions compete nowadays with each other due to the fact that each was chosen in turn as core for an unified vision for human matters historically considered. So, for instance, many historians spoke of a social history as an approach for historical synthesis in the 1960s, but of a cultural history as a centre of interest in the 1990s. We treat culture more carefully because, as a concept, it is more fraught with ambiguities and pitfalls than is society. So, the history of culture as a concept is summarized since its beginnings during the eighteenth century, and the different senses and contexts of its use are discussed. The authors opinion is that culture could never usefully evict society as a core concept for historians. In fact, it is his conviction that it would be useful to abandon culture altogether as an obstacle concept. Since this is not coming to pass, nevertheless, the best course of action could be, perhaps, to use both concepts, society and culture, as complementary to each other along some guidelines that this conference attempts to suggest.