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ISA Regional Volumes
Social Knowledge: Heritage, Challenges, Perspectives
General Editor: Maria Luz Morán

Introduction
Immanuel Wallerstein, ISA President 1994-1998

The Pre-Congress Colloquia were intended to prepare the discussion at the 14th World Congress of Sociology (1998) on its theme "Social Knowledge, Heritage, Challenges, and Perspectives". The International Sociological Association sponsored, in conjunction with local associations, ten regional colloquia in ten different regions of the world. These volumes are the edited, and sometimes abbreviated, versions of the papers given at these colloquia. In addition, ISA commissioned an eleventh, worldwide volume, of essays written from a feminist perspective. After the volumes were prepared, ISA convened an "integration" colloquium in which the editors of the eleven volumes discussed with each other the findings on a series of major themes. These discussions were filmed and exist in form of four video-cassettes.

The object of the collection of volumes and cassettes is not to present the state of knowledge in a region (or of feminist studies) but the state of social knowledge throughout the world from a regional or feminist perspective. ISA hopes thereby to underline the fact that, however general the propositions we hope to put forth, they often tend to come out differently when the social contexts within which the authors write are different. We hope that these differences (and of course the similarities that we may find despite the different perspectives) may be a starting-point for our collective effort to look at our heritage, at the contemporary challenges that are being made to the heritage, and the possible paths that may be taken by the social sciences in the twenty-first century.


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