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Key Texts for Latin American Sociology comprises translations of key texts from the Latin American Sociology canon. It is the first book to curate and then translate these key texts into English, bringing together texts from leading sociologists in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Bolivia, and Uruguay, to provide comprehensive coverage of a wide range of issues in Latin American Sociology. By drawing attention to embedded issues such as development, inequalities, oppression and representation, the key texts approach sociology in its most authentic terms: as a means of understanding and committing to social change. The result of five years of collaboration between colleagues from 15 Latin American Countries, this volume was conceived at a workshop in Mendoza in 2013, where the scientific committee discussed the difference between “classics” and “key-texts” in Latin American sociology.

The Struggle for Surplus1
The Struggle for Surplus
René Zavaleta Mercado

Our claim is that the three countries involved in the conflict2 obstinately shared the same myth of the surplus.3 We have also claimed that not all surplus generates receptivity, although it is indeed a favourable element in its production. What interests us, then, is receptivity and not the surplus; receptivity, moreover, only as it relates to the question of the constitutive moment.

This is a concept that will have to be used repeatedly over the course of this exposition. [Alexis de] Tocqueville defined it almost ingenuously: ‘Every people bears the mark of its origin’. ‘The circumstances that surround its birth and aid its development also influence the subsequent course of its ...

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