Lines of Research

Line 1 - Social Issues and Human Diversity

Socio-historical structure of social issues in Brazil. Expressions of social issues from the critical social theory, intersectional themes, and connections within social policy. The social relations of domination and oppression of gender — “race”, ethnicity, generation, sexuality, and social class. Human diversity, "identity politics", and social movements.
This line of research dwell on studies about particular expressions of social issues in Brazilian social formation, especially in its most contemporary phase, from a theoretical approach that relates social issues to capital accumulation and its inherent contradiction between social production of wealth and private appropriation, referenced in the critical social theory that, according to Tonet (2002, p. 09), intends to know and radically interpret the bourgeois system. Partial and isolated analysis of social phenomena do not fit into this proposition.
Conversely, this conception intends to understand each phenomenon as part of a totality, as a moment of historical and social procedures, as well as to grasp, in each phenomenon, the articulation between essence and appearance, mediations, and the contradictions that permeate all social reality. We expect to address social issues with this analytical perspective of reality.
That said, this line of research is interested in understanding the current state of social policy in Brazil, considering the strong criticisms about work ethics and the globalization of financial capitalism. Based on this broader scope, this line of research is particularly interested in studying, among labor, social issues, and social policies, how the diversity that characterizes the reproduction of social relations at the concrete level of social capital expresses itself, especially in two aspects: a) ethnic and racial, gender, and generational diversity as a fundamental aspect for the understanding of social issues in Brazil, from the two points of view, the formation of the working class and the constitution of inequalities and oppression, and  the formation of social movements and other types of resistance; and b) the diversity of social, political and cultural demands, and of needs that have been presented as the object of social policies by society as a whole, as well as how these policies have been incorporating these issues. Here we also emphasize the importance of recognizing the antagonistic character that determines the relationships of existence between social individuals crossed by processes of exploitation and oppression.

Line 2 - Social Theory, Work, and Social Work

This line of research focuses on the analysis of work under capitalism, focusing on the theoretical and methodological foundations of the aforementioned analysis and emphasizing the current context of the world of work. Our analysis centers on the historical forms of work organization in capitalist society with an emphasis on the current work settings in finance capitalism and the repercussions of its expressions on the reality of the working classes.
In this perspective, the rigorous treatment of analytical references in the field of social theory becomes a priority, being notably present in debates about Social Work, Sociology, and Political Economy. Therefore, the central purpose is to contribute effectively to the production of knowledge about work in capitalism, especially regarding the specificities of social workers’ labor in their classical and contemporary expressions.
These references are articulated with the particularities of the historical, theoretical, and methodological foundations of Social Work, which in turn are focused on the analysis of social workers’ labor inserted in several work processes and their corresponding institutional arrangements which, in turn, are inseparable from social policies in their principles and historical achievements in Brazil. This line of research emphasizes the production that includes social issues, work, and social work analysis related to discussions about ethnic and racial, gender, and generational issues involved in the debate about labor, social work, and social policies in accordance with the proposed intersectionality.
In these terms, we hope to advance the reflections and the academic and scientific productions on social work in accordance with the perspectives of the profession's strategic social direction, which also requires attention to the analysis on the expressions of social issues taken as historical foundation and object of professional work.
The manifestations of social issues, which we understand as resulting from the exploitation relationships associated to the current capital/work pair, especially manifested in the impacts of the social vulnerability of work, are also discussed and investigated. Likewise, we propose approaches on the processes and social relationships that shape such manifestations in their specific peculiarities in the construction and development of social work in Brazilian society. Consequently, this line of research also attempts to analyze the multiplicity of discourses on professional practice and the corresponding plurality of theoretical and methodological references found in the debate of this disciplinary area with focus on the contemporary debate. Nevertheless, we emphasize that the focus on the present implies a dive into the entire history of influences on classical and contemporary social theory.