Summary of Elizabeth Jelin. Entrevista en el marco del ciclo "Pioneras. Mujeres de la sociología argentina"

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Elizabeth Jelin is a sociologist who has done groundbreaking work on topics such as violence against women and social movements. In this interview, she discusses her work in the field and how her experience as a woman has affected her work. She stresses the importance of networking and cooperation between feminists of different backgrounds in order to make progress.

  • 00:00:00 Elizabeth Jelin is a sociologist who has done a lot in her life, and has a lot left to do. She was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but her family lived in missionary stations. Her mother came to Argentina to give birth to her, and then returned to Poland to be with her husband. They were separated for eight years during World War II, and when her brother started school, the family moved to Buenos Aires so he could go to the better school. Elizabeth finished high school at the same time as her brother and started university studies in the same year. She majored in philosophy, but switched to sociology because she was interested in the new field and had friends in that department. She completed her undergraduate studies in 1976, and started graduate studies the same year. Her parents were against her going to graduate school, but she went ahead without telling them. She received her MA in sociology from the University of Buenos Aires in 1978. She then started a doctoral program at the same university, but dropped out after one year to get a job. She got a job as a researcher at the National Institute of Statistics (INED), and stayed there for 18 years. In 1992 she was promoted to research director of the institute. Elizabeth has written a book about
  • 00:05:00 Elizabeth Jelin discusses her experiences as a sociologist in the early days of the discipline in Argentina. She notes that while she didn't know much about the field, she was interested in cooking and continued to do so well after graduating high school. She entered university at age 16 and completed her undergraduate degree in three years, with a focus in sociology and grammar. She then chose the specialty of sociology in part due to her previous coursework in sociology in high school, and the political and social context of the time. During her undergraduate years she also took courses in philosophy, history, and literature, which exposed her to a variety of social issues. She eventually chose to specialize in sociology, and during her graduate years worked on a project researching mobility in urban areas. She also participated in a research project on social attitudes towards immigration. In her final year of graduate school, she took a course on survey methodology and completed a research project on social attitudes towards immigration. Overall, she has found sociology to be an interesting and challenging field, and has always been accompanied by others in her research.
  • 00:10:00 In the early 1990s, Argentine sociologist Elizabeth Jelin was a groundbreaking researcher in her field, working on topics such as violence against women and social movements. Her work was controversial, and she faced opposition from right-wing nationalistic magazines. Jelin's colleagues at the University of Buenos Aires helped her translate English-language texts into Spanish, and she also had the opportunity to work with famous professors, such as Frida Silver and Karl Marx.
  • 00:15:00 Elizabeth Jelin discusses the various terms used in theories of socialization, including "lo público" (in Spanish, "el espíritu persona"), "espíritu self", and "sociedad". She recalls attending debates in German about the translation of "mind" and deciding that it should be "self". These terms carried intellectual debates about how to create a Spanish vocabulary for concepts that did not exist in that sense yet. Wright Mills was a seminal book for her, as it opened her up to the idea that sociology could be about more than just the modernization process. She also recalls being influenced by Jose Luis Romero, who taught her about historical sociological methods and brought in concepts from Spain, such as "full labor, off-time work", which she critiques. Finally, she discusses the importance of imagination in sociology and how it relates to topics like gender, creativity, and innovation.
  • 00:20:00 Elizabeth Jelin discusses her experience as a woman in the sociology field in Argentina during the 1960s and 1970s. She discusses how her experiences as a woman affected her work as a sociologist, and how her work during that time helped to pave the way for women in the field today.
  • 00:25:00 Elizabeth Jelin discusses her work as a sociologist in Argentina during the 1970s and 1980s, during which time she and her male colleagues documented the country's political and economic landscape. Jelin discusses the feminist movement at the time and how it was important to her to have research that took into account the experiences of women. She recalls the moment in 1973 when she and her Canadian colleagues arrived in Buenos Aires and began work on a research project on families. The project lasted for several years, during which time they experienced solidarity from international researchers working in the social sciences. Jelin discusses the project's eventual demise due to political changes in Argentina in the early 1980s.
  • 00:30:00 In this interview, Elizabeth Jelin discusses her work on gender in the workplace, education, and inequality. She stresses that this work is not simply a matter of "ending patriarchy," but rather a necessary step in achieving equality for women. Jelin stresses the importance of networking and cooperation between feminists of different backgrounds in order to make progress.

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