Material and Symbolic Forces in the Evolution of Regulatory Institutions of Agrobiotechnology: A Case Study About Brazil

TitleMaterial and Symbolic Forces in the Evolution of Regulatory Institutions of Agrobiotechnology: A Case Study About Brazil
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsDuarte, F, Silva, E
JournalJournal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Date Published2016
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number11877863
KeywordsAgricultural , BIOTECHNOLOGY , BRAZIL , Coalition , economic , Evolutionary , multinationals , SCIENTISTS , SOCIAL , Transgenic
AbstractThe wide and complex range of technologies produced and used in the contemporary societies has challenged the analysis from the different fields of social sciences. In this sense, in order to elaborate a study that aim at understanding the relationship between technological progress and the ongoing institutional changes that mark the capitalist societies, we believe it is necessary to adopt an interdisciplinary approach combining methodologies from Economics and Sociology fields. Therefore, this study proposes the development of an interdisciplinary dialogue between the economic sociology of Pierre Bourdieu and the evolutionary economics developed by authors such as Giovanni Dosi, Sidney Winter, Richard Nelson and Bhaven Sampat. In doing so, we intend to demonstrate that a theory guided by Marx's historical materialism, as it is the case of evolutionary economics, can be enriched by a materialist theory of symbolic, such as that of Pierre Bourdieu. In searching the comprehension of the complementarity between material and symbolic forces, this study addresses the conflictual process surrounding the formulation of the regulatory institutions to the biotechnology sector in Brazil over the last two decades. More precisely, through a case study, we seek to demonstrate that the convergence of discourses and interests between prestigious scientific organizations and the multinational companies that control the agrobiotechnology industry has been relevant to allow this new technological paradigm to make progress. Finally, we raise some questions concerning this alliance between business and science and the conflicts that revolve around the rapid expansion of the genetically modified crops worldwide.
NotesDuarte, Francisco 1; Email Address:; Silva, Evaldo 2; Email Address:; Affiliations: 1: Instituto de Economia, Campus da Praia Vermelha , Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro , Avenida Pasteur, n. 250, Andar Térreo. URCA Rio de Janeiro 22290-902 Brazil; 2: Departamento de Economia , Universidade Federal de Viçosa , Avenida Purdue s/n. Campus Universitário Viçosa 36571.900 Brazil; Issue Info: Dec2016, Vol. 29 Issue 6, p909; Thesaurus Term: AGRICULTURAL biotechnology; Thesaurus Term: AGRICULTURAL innovations; Subject Term: BRAZIL; Subject Term: AGRICULTURAL technology; Subject Term: SOCIAL sciences; Subject Term: ECONOMIC sociology; Subject Term: TRANSGENIC plants; Author-Supplied Keyword: Biotechnology; Author-Supplied Keyword: Coalition of interests; Author-Supplied Keyword: Economic sociology; Author-Supplied Keyword: Evolutionary economics; Author-Supplied Keyword: Multinationals; Author-Supplied Keyword: Scientists; NAICS/Industry Codes: 541711 Research and Development in Biotechnology; NAICS/Industry Codes: 541720 Research and Development in the Social Sciences and Humanities; Number of Pages: 21p; Document Type: Article