Fals Borda, a life of sociology in Colombia

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Another personality who died in Colombia recently was Orlando Fals Borda, a name that became common in the Colombian universities and at large in the Latin American world of intellectuals. What is the meaning of Fals Borda as a scholar for the studies of the Colombian society is something that will come when his work will be review under a more analitic context.

Fals Borda was born in Barranquilla in 1925 and died last August 12 in Bogotá. He did his master in sociology in the University of Minnesota in 1953 and he was Ph.D in the same subject of the University of Florida in 1955. No doubt, Colombia is an excellent territory for studies of sociology and Fals Borda would dedicate the rest of his life to run through the Colombian history and problematic to understand its conflicts and give light to solutions. With Camilo Torres Restrepo he founded the first School of Sociology of Latin America in the National University of Colombia.

Those who study any social science in the continent, have to see necessary with was is called the Participative Action Investigation, a method developed by Fals Borda created to know more than the necessities of a community, the capacities of this one to tranform its own social reality. In the mind of the Latin American scholar was especially the social development of the farmers and workers and for this reason his vast work is consulted by any one interested in subjects related to the called “Third World”.

Fals Borda was also an activist of leftist movements and he played a very important role in the National Assembly that gave birth to the Colombian constitution of 1991 that decentralized the administration and gave more capacity of participation to the communities like the etnic minorities, farmers and administrative territories. He founded also the Alternative Magazine of sociology.

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