Social Sciences (1850+)

Since the mid nineteenth century, social scientists have attempted to use scientific methodology to discover empirically-derived truths about the human world. Demography, economics, geography, sociology, anthropology, archaeology, and psychology are just some of the disciplines that seek to elucidate various aspects of the human world. There is no way that the history of each of these fields in Latin America can be explored in depth in this topic, but touching on case studies within each of these fields will help to draw out some of the most important themes in the Latin American social sciences on the whole.

There were some early attempts at conducting basic social science work in Latin America, such as the Relaciones Geograficas surveys and ethnographic studies, but the social sciences really emerged as important and legitimate pursuits in Latin America concurrently with the mid nineteenth century rise of positivism. Positivism identified advancing scientific knowledge with social progress. The positivist idea that controlled research could lead to factual knowledge was incredibly influential in Latin America during this time and reformers, politicians, and professionals were all eager to apply positivist science to better understand, control, or modernize their own societies.

The social sciences were deeply intermeshed with many of the "harder" sciences that have been most pervasive in Latin America over the last 150 years. A brief look at the topics covered in this website serves to give some sense of just how prevalent they were. Anthropology and sociology were instrumental to eugenics, medicine, criminology, and paleontology. An incomplete list of the topics that were dependent of economics would include agriculture, botany, the "advances" made in slavery, the useful arts of the Enlightenment, the Panama Canal, and the Pan American scientific collaborations. Geography, of course, was essential to cartography and exploration but it was also fundamental to how botanists and other natural scientists organized raw nature into national units and how proponents of tropical medicine were able to dismiss Latin American peoples as inherently inferior based on where they lived.

Recognizing their importance, Latin American (and other) governments employed the social sciences as a "scientific" means of knowing, shaping, and controlling society at a national level. Such measures were most often applied to studying society's "problems," many of which concerned modernizing Latin America. For many modernizers, race and social deviance were considered the largest (and often overlapping) challenges facing Latin America and reformers both within and outside the government began applying anthropology and sociology to study these "problems." Although these Latin American social scientists did co-opt many of their ideas from Europe, they often altered European theories to fit local circumstances. For example, social evolutionism--the idea that societies evolved like species and should be controlled to ensure that the "right" people thrive--lost much (but by no means all) of the racism inherent in its European version when anthropologists, especially in Mexico and Brazil, altered this theory to fit the local reality of racial mixing mestizaje (Horcasitas 2002; Eakin 1985). Similarly, social scientists began to examine the psychological and social roots of crime and other forms of undesirable social deviance like homosexuality and irregular female reproduction. Their studies fostered the professionalization of criminology while giving legitimacy to government efforts to regulate immigration, marriage, the insane, and family values (Rodriguez 2006).

Yet Latin American variants of social science were not just the tools of governments and other power groups; they have been used to create local knowledge structures that run counter to that which is forced on the region by foreign scientific powers. They did so by careful considerations of local circumstances, not merely replicating "universal" standards used in more scientifically advanced regions. The Economic Commission for Latin America, for example, created a program for industrial growth based on the history and culture of Latin America, not the economic schemes that had proven successful in Europe and the U.S. (Montecinos and Markoff 2001). In archaeology, early twentieth century anthropologists and paleontologists like Florentino Ameghino (see the Paleontology topic) used local fossil evidence to argue that all humans descended from a Patagonian ancestor and late twentieth century theorists developed the school of social archaeology, an approach to studying ancient societies that was intended to help empower present day indigenous groups.

In other cases, however, social scientists imposed universal (non-local) knowledge on peoples both within and outside of their own countries. Mexican geographers used land surveys and maps, like the atlas seen in the sources, to coerce indigenous peoples into seeing Mexico's geography in the "standard" way. About 100 years later, U.S. demographers and sociologists travelled en masse to Puerto Rico to do studies of population demographics that legitimized preexisting fears of third world population growth and encouraged the implementation of eugenic policies (Craib 2004; Briggs 2002).

No scientific study can be purely objective; the choice of focus, the way of conducting experiments, and how data is interpreted are all contingent upon external factors, most pronounced of which is power. While this truism is applicable to even the pure sciences, it is especially telling in social sciences where personal biases like racism, sexism, xenophobia, and national pride are borne out in ways that directly impact a society. To cite just one example, the supposedly empirical studies of Argentine sociologists, backed by the dual authorities of governmental support and positivistic legitimacy, led to very real and dire consequences for immigrants labeled as anarchists or women labeled as sexual deviants (Rodriguez 2006).

Taken together, economics, demography, geography, anthropology, sociology, criminology and the other social sciences had a massive impact on Latin America since the mid nineteenth century. Social science studies have shaped how people both within and outside of the region understand the (geographical construct known as) Latin America, creating knowledge that has molded the opinions of politicians and plebeians alike. Economic choices have dictated whether millions of people will eat or starve; anthropological ideas have constructed common assumptions about race, class, and gender; geographers have literally given shape to previously amorphous nation states; and psychologists have decided how normal people should think and behave. Taking a step back from Latin American history over the last 150 years, it is difficult to find anything that was not deeply affected by social science or social scientists.

Questions for further exploration:

1. Did prominent Latin American social scientists have a larger influence on their societies than prominent practitioners of the hard sciences? Look at specific social scientists like Gamio, Ingenieros (both seen in the sources), or any of the others and compare their impact with that of other scientists or naturalists, such as Oviedo, Houssay, Borlaug, Pittier, Ameghino, Humboldt, and Darwin, to name a few. Use as many or as few examples as necessary to prove your argument.

2. How did anthropology and sociology shape Latin American and Caribbean criminology? How did this affect perceptions of crime and criminals?

3. Latin American social sciences were very often associated with the idea of fomento, development, that inspired many politicians, reformers, and modernizers throughout the independence era. Consider any one case from the sources or beyond (there are many additional examples) in which a social science was applied to encourage development (in the broad sense of the word). Why was that particular social science chosen to achieve that goal? How did local conditions or culture shape the way in which that social science was done? Did it succeed?

4. Race, gender, and class are all socio-cultural constructs that, in the last 150 years, have been very influenced by the social sciences. Consider one of these three constructs and describe how one or more social sciences helped to form it. You can focus on a particular country or on Latin America and/or the Caribbean as a whole.

5. Have Latin American social sciences resisted U.S. intellectual dominance better, worse, or the same as the harder sciences? Is resisting the influence of a dominant scientific power necessarily a good (or bad) thing? Support your arguments with evidence from this and other topics.

Further Reading:

Benavides, O. Hugo. "Returning to the Source: Social Archaeology as Latin American Philosophy." Latin American Antiquity. 12: 4 (December 2001): 355-370.

Biglaiser, Glen. Guardians of the Nation? Economists, Generals, and Economic Reform in Latin America. Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 2002.

Briggs, Laura. Reproducing Empire: Race, Sex, Science, and U.S. Imperialism in Puerto Rico. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.

Bronfman, Alejandra. Measures of Equality: Social Science, Citizenship, and Race in Cuba. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Centeno, Miguel Angel and Fernando Lopes-Alves, eds. The Other Mirror: Gran Theory Through the Lens of Latin America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.

Craib, Raymond G. Cartographic Mexico: A History of State Fixations and Fugitive Landscapes. Durham: Duke University Press, 2004.

Diegues Jr., Manuel and Bryce Wood, eds. Social Science in Latin America. New York: Columbia University Press, 1967.

Eakin, Marshall C. "Race and Identity: Silvio Romero, Science, and Social Thought in Late 19th Century Brazil." Luso-Brazilian Review. 22: 2 (Winter 1985): 151-174.

Gonzalez, Horacio, Ed. Historia Critica de la Sociologia Argentina: los Raros, los Cientificos, los Discrepantes. Buenos Aires: Ediciones Colihue, 2000.

Horcasitas, Beatriz. "Las ciencias sociales en la encrucijada del poder: Manuel Gamio (1920-1940)." Revista Mexicana de Sociologia. 64: 3 (July-September 2002): 93-121.

Rodriguez, Julia. Civilizing Argentina: Science, Medicine, and the Modern State. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2006.

Demography in Puerto Rico

Date: 1942
Owner: Library of Congress
Source Type: Images


In the 1940s and 1950s, U.S. social scientists flooded into Latin America. In Puerto Rico, for example, they came to study the perceived "problem" of overpopulation. Demographers, sociologists, historians, and economists produced a huge body of scholarship on Puerto Rico's population and development, most of which blamed the rise in population density on lower class women. The "backwardness" of poor women who were ignorant of or hostile to birth control, it was argued, filled the small island with poor children that they could not support and thus perpetuated poverty. The intimate details of poor women's' sexual habits--which were considered irrational and pernicious--were studied intensely because they were seen as the source of the island's poverty and, therefore, potential for communism.

Yet this widely publicized "problem" of women as the source of demographic and economic woes was actually contrary to the data being gathered. The research of social scientists, many of whom worked out of the University of Puerto Rico's Social Science Research Center, found that although population density was indeed rising, so too were life expectancy and the standard of living, which seemed to lead to the conclusion that population demography was not at the root of poverty. Yet these same social scientists continued to forward solutions based on population control, which were almost always targeted at controlling the reproductive capacity of the female body, even through eugenic measures like surgical sterilization. According to historian Laura Briggs, the discrepancy between the empirically gathered data and the recommended solutions was due to the exoticization of Caribbean women and prevalent racist ideas in the U.S. that the third world's high rate of production would, by sheer numbers, overwhelm the (whiter) peoples of developed nations.

Puerto Rico, as a small U.S. protectorate, was a perfect location for U.S. social scientists to test their demographic theories. In fact, the island was explicitly referred to as a place for conducting "experiments" in population control and social change. U.S. imperialism did not only manifest itself on the island through economic and political dominance, but social scientists exploited Puerto Rico's families as a source of raw data.

Reference: Briggs, Laura. Reproducing Empire: Race, Sex, Science, and U.S. Imperialism in Puerto Rico. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.

CITATION: Jack Delano. San Juan, Puerto Rico. Mother and child in the slum area known as "El Fangitto". January, 1942. Medium: 1 nitrate negative.  Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington DC. Reproduction Number: LC-USF34-048087-E.




Date: 1948
Owner: United Nations
Source Type: Images


CITATION: From Economic Survey of Latin America, 1948. Prepared by the Secretariat of the Economic Commission for Latin America. Lake Success, New York: United Nations Department of Economic Affairs. Copyright 1949, United Nations. Reprinted with the Permission of the Uinted Nations. 



Jose Ingenieros

Date: 1902
Owner: Archivo General de la Nacion, Argentina
Source Type: Images


Mexican Anthropology

Date: 1916
Owner: Libreria de Porrua Hermanos
Source Type: Images


In the decades following the Mexican Revolution, Dr. Manuel Gamio (1883-1960) was Mexico's foremost anthropologist and was very involved with indigenismo, a movement that took pride in the country's pre-Columbian heritage. He is famous for his studies of Teotihuacan, creating the journal Ethnos, and heading the state's effort to conduct "applied" anthropology. These pages from his Forjando Patria (English: Forging A Nation), present pre-Columbian civilizations as equivalent to those of Greece, Egypt, and Rome and discusses the greatest aspects of Mexican mestizaje.

Gamio's studies of indigenous peoples and sites must be understood in their cultural and political context. After the Revolution, the state sought to create new grounds for nationalism, most important of which was promoting the idea that racial mixing (mestizaje), which had been discouraged in the Porfirian era, should be a source of Mexican identity and pride. To help achieve this shift in perspective, the government patronized social scientists (especially anthropologists, demographers, and sociologists) who could promulgate in their publications the idea that the mixing of races glorified as it constituted Mexico. Thus anthropology, which is often considered the study of human diversity, became part of the project of showing national unity.

Perhaps surprisingly, Gamio and the Mexican state promoted this idea of racial unity concurrently with social hygiene efforts and eugenics efforts designed to eradicate "plagas sociales" like alcoholism, venereal disease, and inheritable abnormalities. Eugenic science is usually considered to be the opposite of racial unity but, circa 1920-1940, Mexico managed to make these policies overlap, largely due to the legitimizing influence of social scientists like Gamio. Mexico thus articulated a policy that promoted racial unity as well as "whitening": the whites who immigrated to Mexico would intermarry with indigenous peoples and, by this mixing of blood, help "improve" Mexico's racial composition on the whole. According to contemporary eugenic ideas, such genetic improvement was requisite for social improvement while, according to Mexico's nationalistic rhetoric, racial mixing itself was inherently good.

The fact that anthropologists and other social scientists initiated and supported such endeavors shows just how closely science and politics can be tied. Although this relationship is not always so explicit, it always exists, and historians must consider how contemporary social circumstances affect the kind of knowledge that scientists, social scientists, and even historians produce.

Reference: Horcasitas, Beatriz. "Las ciencias sociales en la encrucijada del poder: Manuel Gamio (1920-1940)." In Revista Mexicana de Sociologia, vol. 64, no. 3 (Jul.-Sep., 2002), pp. 93-121.

CITATION: Gamio, Manuel. Firjando Patria (Pro Nacionalismo). Mexico: Libreria de Porrua Hermanos, 1916.



Mexican Geography

Date: 1858
Owner: David Rumsey Map Collection, Cartography Associates
Source Type: Images


These four pages (title page, preface, general map of Mexico, and map of Veracruz) are from the 1858 Atlas geografico, estadistico e historico de la Republica Mexicana, the national(istic) collection of maps created by geographer Antonio Garcia Cubas to reify the notion that Mexico was a geographically, historically, and politically coherent nation state. Mexico had just lost vast amounts of its territory to the U.S. in the Mexican-American War and this map was part of the larger effort to use the social science of geography to reaffirm Mexico's national integrity.

Garcia Cubas compiled this map from smaller extant maps of the various regions of Mexico. He did, however, make these maps more "scientific" by conflating them all through a regular graticule (the axis of latitude and longitude) that used Greenwich as the prime meridian. The meridian for Mexican maps had previously been Mexico City, and this transfer to a more universally accepted geographic convention was an effort to pave the way for Mexico's modernization through science. According to historian Raymond B. Craib, imposing a standard graticule on Mexico encouraged contemporaries to see the hitherto poorly charted regions of their country as rational space that, through further exploration and onsite surveys, could be fully known.

The goal of the late nineteenth Mexican state was to make its space into something ordered, known, fixed, and stable that would facilitate order and progress within that space. This held true on both the largest and smallest scales. Maps like the Carta General (page three of this source) made it easy to image Mexico as a unified body with a geographic coherence mirroring that of society in general. On a local level, government surveyors could reshape a given space onsite, imposing a new way of seeing a given landscape that may have been wholly different from how locals had previously understood their space.

Geography is a social science, not an objective truth. The meaning of a place is created by people, and almost every area on earth has been understood differently at different times by different people. The definition of space (through maps, surveys, or other means) does not follow any one "correct" schema but is an imposition of a human idea on nature itself.

Reference: Craib, Raymond G. Cartographic Mexico: A History of State Fixations and Fugitive Landscapes. Durham: Duke University Press, 2004.

CITATION: Title page; Preface; Carta General; Veracruz. In: Garcia y Cubas, Antonio. Atlas geografico, estadistico e historico de la Republica Mexicana. Mexico: Imprenta de Jose Mariano Fernandez de Lara, 1858. List no: 4116B. Courtesy of the David Rumsey Map Collection, Cartography Associates.




Date: 1904


Silvio Romero

Date: 1888
Owner:  H. Garnier, Livreiro-Editor
Source Type: Images


Silvio Romero, the essayist, sociologist, ethnographer, and literary historian, created a theory that portrayed Brazil's high degree of racial mixing to be good for the nation's social evolution. This analysis stood in stark contrast to contemporary European theories that claimed mestizaje led to degeneracy, a sentiment that was also very popular among elite Brazilians (see the Table of Whitening in the Eugenics topic). Romero's ideas, though, would become increasingly prevalent in Brazil as the rhetoric of nationalism took ever more pride in Brazil's racial melting pot.

Perhaps surprisingly, Romero elaborated on this theory as part of his work on the history of literature in Brazil. In his seminal Historia da Litteratura Brasileira (1888), Romero looked at the contributions of blacks, Indians, and whites to both literature and the Brazilian social milieu as a whole. Romero could have gone with the tied and claimed that the historical and biological influence of blacks and Indians made Brazil inferior. But, instead, he chose to alter the tenets of scientific racism espoused by Social Darwinists like Herbert Spencer. But, being a staunch advocate of positivism, Romero needed another "scientific" explanation as to why racial mixing was not only not a bad thing, but a good one. He thus created an argument that combined environmental determinism, race, and a concept of "civilization" that, through his selective reasoning, made Brazilian mestizos and mulattoes the race best suited for civilizing the tropics. Mixed-race Brazilians would combine the intellectual and cultural attributes of Europeans with the hardiness that allowed blacks and Indians to withstand the worst effects of the tropical climate.

Romero adapted the inherently racist ideas of Social Darwinism into a new theory in which racial mixing--instead of causing degeneration--facilitated the union of the best characteristics of each race. Romero's new Brazilian race was thus not only a successful Darwinian adaptation to local conditions, but a valuable contribution to the evolution of mankind on the whole.

Reference: Eakin, Marshall C. "Race and Identity: Silvio Romero, Science, and Social Thought in Late 19th Century Brazil." In Luso-Brazilian Review, vol. 22, no. 2 (Winter, 1985), pp. 151-174.

CITATION: Romero, Sylvio. Historia da Litteratura Brasiliera. Tomo Primeiro. 2nd edition. Rio de Janeiro: H. Garnier, Livreiro-Editor, 1902.



Social Archaeology

Date: 1980
Owner: Getty Images
Source Type: Images


In the early twentieth century, Latin American archaeology was dominated by foreign adventurers like Hiram Bingham (see Scientific Expeditions topic) who excavated the region's ancient treasures with the goal of arriving at empirically-devised facts about pre-Columbian cultures. This kind of archaeological positivism, though, has come under attack by social archaeologists, a school that argues that archaeology--like all other sciences--is necessarily contingent on political and personal influences that prevent results from being purely "scientific." Since the mid 1970s, Latin Americans have been some of the leading advocates of this line of thought that was first articulated by Peruvian archaeologist Luis G. Lumbreras in his 1974 La Arqueologia como Ciencia Social (Archaeology as Social Science).

Latin American social archaeologists have embraced the fact that science and society inevitably overlap and have tried to use both the practice of and knowledge produced by archaeological projects to benefit their communities. Social archaeologists consider a dig itself is part of the historical process, one that can play an active and positive role in a regional history too often characterized by (neo)colonial domination. Furthermore, social archaeological projects often try to develop local communities that, in more traditional forms of archaeology, are either ignored or actively exploited. For example, the Programa Cochasqui in Ecuador uses an excavation to improve local agriculture, health care, and economic conditions while preparing local indigenous people to take over operation of the site in the future.

Social archaeology is in many ways a reaction to the United States' dominance--political, scientific, economic--of "peripheral" regions. Scientists and social scientists in countries like Ecuador are at a distinct disadvantage to those from the U.S., who have superior access to grants, professional possessions, and scholarly resources. Thus U.S. archaeologists are in a better supported position to do work in Latin America and, more importantly, influence how archaeology is done there. By creating their own school of archaeology, Latin Americans have been able to reify trends in Latin American social science and have done much to forestall U.S. hegemony in this field. Social archaeologists have also made a considerable splash in the field at an international level while helping local communities develop resources and a sense of their own place in history.

Reference: Benavides, O. Hugo. "Returning to the Source: Social Archaeology as Latin American Philosophy." In Latin American Antiquity, vol. 12, no. 4 (Dec., 2001), pp. 355-370.

CITATION: Wiltsie, Gordon. "Cerra Victoria, Vilcabamba Range, Peru." 09 Aug 2004. National Geographic/Getty Images, Image #51786057.



Source References

Web Sites

Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales (Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales)

Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (United Nations)

MATRIX: Making Archaeology Teaching Relevant in the XXI Century (Indiana University Bloomington)

WAC: World Archaeology Congress  (undefined)


Berdan, Frances. The Aztecs of Central Mexico: An Imperial Society. Bibra Lake, WA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2004.

Bliss, Katherine. "The Science of Redemption: Syphilis, Sexual Promiscuity and Reformism in Revolutionary Mexico." Hispanic American Historical Review.  79: 1 (1999): 1-40.

Bouvard, Marguerite Guzman. Revolutionizing Motherhood: The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo. Lanham, MD: Scholarly Resources, 2002. 

Bronfman, Alejandra. Measures of Equality: Social Science, Citizenship, and Race in Cuba, 1902-1940. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003.

Cleary, Edward L. and Timothy J. Steigenga. Resurgent Voices in Latin America: Indigenous Peoples, Political Mobilization, and Religious Change. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2004. 

Diegues, M. Social Science in Latin America. New York: Columbia University Press, 1967.

Dvila-Poblete, Sonia. Opposing Currents: The Politics of Water and Gender in Latin America. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004.

Eckstein, Susan. Power and Popular Protest: Latin American Social Movements. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.

Ehlers, Tracy Bachrach. Silent Looms: Women and Production in a Guatamalan Town. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000. 

Fisher, Lawrence E. Colonial Madness: Mental Health in the Barbadian Social Order. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1985.

Frank, Dana. Bananeras: Women Transforming the Banana Unions of Latin America. Boston: South End Press, 2005.

Frazier, Lessie Jo, Janise Hurtig and Rosario Montoya del Solar. Gender's Place: Feminist Anthropologies of Latin America. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002. 

Guy, Donna. "White Slavery, Public Health and the Socialist Position on Legalized Prostitution in Argentina, 1913-1936." Latin American Research Review. 23: 3 (1988): 60-80.

Heath, Dwight B. Contemporary Cultures and Societies of Latin America: A Reader in the Social Anthropology of Middle and South America. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 2001.

Kempadoo, Kamala. Sexing the Caribbean: Gender, Race and Sexual Labor. London: Routledge, 2004.

Loker, William M. Globalization and the Rural Poor in Latin America. Boulder, CO:  Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1998.

Marzal, Manuel. Tierra Encantada: Tratado de antropologia religiosa de America Latina. Madrid: Trotta Editorial S, 2002.

Montecinos, Veronica and John Markoff. "From the Power of Economic Ideas to the Power of Economists." In The Other Mirror: Gran Theory Through the Lens of Latin America. Miguel Angel Centeno and Fernando Lopes-Alves, editors. Princeton: Princeton U

Napolitano, Valentina. Migration, Mujercitas, and Medicine Men: Living in Urban Mexico. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.

Navarro, Marysa. Women in Latin America and the Caribbean: Restoring Women to History. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999.

Ortiz, Altagracia. Puerto Rican Women and Work: Bridges in Transnational Labor. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1997.

Powers, Karen Vieira. Women in the Crucible of Conquest: The Gendered Genesis of Spanish American Society, 1500-1600. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2005.

Randall, Margaret. Our Voices, Our Lives: Stories of Women from Central America and the Caribbean. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 1995. 

Roemer, Milton. "Medical Care and Social Class in Latin America." Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly. 42: 3, Part 1 (July 1964): 54-64.

Safa, Helen Icken. Myth of the Male Breadwinner: Women and Industrialization in the Caribbean. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1995. 

Saldana, Juan Jose. "Marcos Conceptuales de la Historia de las Ciencias en Latinoamerica: Positvismo y Economicismo." El Perfil de la Ciencia en America. Mexico: Cuadernos de Quipu, 1986. pp. 57-81.

Sanabria, Harry. The Anthropology of Latin America and the Caribbean. Boston: Allyn & Bacon Press, 2006.

Scheper-Hughes, Nancy. Death Without Weeping: the Violence of Everyday Life in Brasil. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992.

Sharpless, John. "World population growth, family planning and American foreign policy." Journal of Policy History. 7: 1 (1995): 72-102.

Sigal, Pete. Infamous Desire: Male Homosexuality in Colonial Latin America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Singer, P. "Population and economic development in Latin America." International Journal of Health Services. 3: 4 (1973): 731-736.

Skocpol, Theda and Edwin Amenta. "States and Social Policies." Annual Review of Sociology. 12 (1986): 131-157.

Socolow, Susan Migden. The Women of Colonial Latin America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Stephen, Lynn and James Dow. Class, politics, and popular religion in Mexico and Central America. Arlington, VA:  American Anthropological Association, 1990.

Stephen, Lynn. Women and Social Movements in Latin America: Power from Below. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1997.

Trigo, Benigno. Foucault and Latin America: Appropriations and Deployments of Discursive Analysis. London: Routledge, 2001.

Wade, Peter. Race And Ethnicity In Latin America. London: Pluto Press, 1997. 

Weismantel, Mary J. Food, Gender, and Poverty in the Ecuadorian Andes. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 1998.