In December 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization issued an alert warning of the zika virus infection. The virus is a mosquito-borne disease that causes a fever, headaches, conjunctivitis, etc. Its clinical manifestation is similar to the dengue fever, which is also a mosquito-borne illness.
Health and Society
Venezuela has long been labeled the rebel in Latin America, holding on to a socialist identity since Hugo Chávez first brought his social revolution to fruition in the country. Part of this social revolution was providing poor Venezuelans with social services, namely health care. Though a popular idea, Venezuela has never truly been able to maintain the necessary resources and services to create an effective health care system. As a result, tens of thousands of citizens lack access to health care, medicine, and life-saving treatments.
On September 24, 2015 at the University of Pittsburgh’s medical school, doctors Patricia Documét and Diego Chaves-Gnecco gave updates on their projects that focus on Latino health care in the Pittsburgh region. Documét, MD, DrPH, is involved with Latino Engagement Group for Salud (LEGS), and much of her work includes community health workers, or “promotores” in Spanish.
On October 2, 2015 Carlow University and the city of Pittsburgh were given the pleasure of hosting Richard Blanco, the inaugural poet for Barack Obama’s 2012 inauguration, the poet chosen for the ceremonial reopening of the United States Embassy in Cuba, and an author of various works. Of Blanco’s works many are published by The University of Pittsburgh Press. Blanco started off the evening, which was his first time in Pittsburgh, saying he felt that he had come home.
On September 28th, 2015, world leaders met at the UN Headquarters in New York to discuss, among other issues, the mass migration of Syrian and Middle Eastern refugees to Europe. The migration of people from the war torn region of the Middle East has put tremendous strains on European infrastructure, has tested the limits of their foreign policy, and has generated an unprecedented migration crisis. While Europe is bearing most of the brunt of the refugees, other countries like the United States and Brazil have vowed to open their doors to Syrian refugees in the coming years.
More than ten years ago I started to reflect on how sociology is seizing Latin America as an object of study. My goal was to acquire more knowledge about sociology in and about Latin America. But, perhaps at least as importantly, my goal was also to understand how sociology is representing the region and how it is participating in its transformation. At a more conceptual level, I was interested in how sociology selects social problems and suggests social change. Ultimately, this is helping me forge opinions about knowledge and social sciences.