Towards an integrated historical sociology of colonial and metropolitan social research

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

13 Downloads (Pure)


Building on prior research on the development of agrarian social research in Portugal at the School of Agriculture, from the late 1930s, and on the introduction of the social sciences at the Colonial School in Lisbon and parallel colonial surveys, in the mid-1950s, this paper presents current research on the development of the first systematic Portuguese industrial social research
from the 1930s on, next to a private Social Work School, also in Lisbon, and on the development of the first systematic colonial social research in the mid-1940s, next to a local-colonial research center, in so called Portuguese Guinea, to offer a short overview of the parallel (yet converging) pathways of Portuguese colonial and metropolitan social research and its relationship with the institutionalisation of sociology, in the 1960s. Taking into account
Portugal’s relative position on the world scene as a semi-peripheral imperial power for most of the 20th century, and the country’s contemporary transition from a backward constitutional monarchy, progressive republic (1910), military dictatorship (1926) and fascist state (1933) to a modern liberal democracy
(1974), this paper further suggests the potential paradigmatic reach of the Portuguese case. Far from being a standard story, it nevertheless allows one to explore not only several political, economic, and social contexts, but also the whole spectrum of social environments subject to social research – rural,
industrial, and colonial –, and the whole set of actors involved – academic, private, state, and local-colonial. Hence, this paper shall also hopefully contribute to overcome the perceived double divide between disciplinary and governmental histories of social research and sociology, and central and peripheral histories of the same subjects, besides the somehow subsidiary divide between colonial and metropolitan narratives.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023
EventXX ISA World Congress - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 25 Jun 20231 Jul 2023


ConferenceXX ISA World Congress
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Towards an integrated historical sociology of colonial and metropolitan social research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this