Towards a Sociology of Equivocal Connections

Cristóbal Bonelli & Daniela Vicherat Mattar

This article contributes to the need for imagining forms of sociological thinking and doing beyond the univocity of disciplinary knowledge. In order to do so, we demonstrate how connections between different ‘sensory worlds’ involve equivocal understandings about what the ‘social’ entails. We begin by considering current anthropological reflections on the equivocal character of social relations as well as the equivocal ways in which western sociology has conceptualized the ‘social’. In order to visualize how ‘equivocal connections’ between different sensory worlds emerge, we build on Mapuche indigenous understandings about how different practices open up different sensory worlds. Through the examination of one of the hunger strikes that has taken place in the conflict between Mapuche people and the Chilean state, we show how such equivocal connections entail ontological, rather than epistemological, differences. Both as ethical and epistemological imperative, these differences must be actively demonstrated in order to reinvigorate the sociological imagination.

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