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The University of Florida Latinamericanist is a publication of the Center for Latin American Studies containing matters of scholarly interest and is distributed the first Friday of every month. Items for publication should be submitted to the editor, Captain Raymond J. Toner, USN (Ret.), 450 Main Library, by noon of the Tuesday preceding the Friday distribution date. The editor reserves the right to select and edit all material. Persons desiring to be placed on the mailing list should call university extension 2224, or write: The Center for Latin American Studies, 450 Main Library, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32601.
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Volume I.I, 11J. 14
March 11, 1966
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FEATURE ARTICLES PROFESSORS VISITORS VARIA CALENDAR
Eastern Mennonite versity.
College in Virginia,
LATINAMERICANIST RESEARCH FEATURE
This month's research feature is written by R. Herbert Minnich, a 34-year-old Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Florida. Minnich, who has lived in Brazil for five years, is preparing his dissertation as a
sociological study of the Mennonite communities in Parang, Brazil. He spent the academic year 1964-1965 in Parang doing field research for this study. Married and the father of three children, he received his bachelor's degree in biology from and his M.S. in rural sociology from Cornell Uni-
INTERVIEWING AND LATIN
by R. Herbert Minnich
AMERICAN RESEARCH An important process in the social sciences has
been the professionalization of the methods and techniques used in the study of society. The great change which has taken place may be
Ceen by comparing articles in the early issues of a periodical such as The American Journal of Sociology at the turn of the century with those in current issues. It is readily apparent that great strides have been made in attaining a more systematic approach to sociological research. The change involves, among other things, a shift from a particalaristic to a universalistic conception of the object of study. This has made possible a more objective analysis and interpretation of the data involved in scientific research. When such inquiry involves interviews with respondents, the problem of interpersonal relations, as well as that of ethical considerations related to personal privacy, may prove to be key factors in the success or failure of a study. This is especially true of research in a Latin American setting.
Researchers have found that some people resent being considered impersonal items in a sample, or carriers of something which happens to interest an unfamiliar person who is said to be a scientist. Many pexions react negatively to situations in which they feel
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that someone is prying into areas which they consider to be matters of private concern. Even doctors, whose "respondents" have come to them, have found that some patients do not appreciate an impersonal relationship in which they suspect that the physician is more interested in their disease than he is in them. The impersonal, professional contact is preferable to the investigator because he believes it generally yields more objective results; it may not be preferable to the respondent, however, because he has a perspective which gives greater value to other considerations. This difference in values and perspectives complicates the process of communication in the interview and may become a crucial factor for the social scientist who must use interviews in his pursuit of knowledge. Each respondent is a thinking individual who may or may not appreciate the impersonal approach in the interview contact, and this variable must be taken into account as one of the problems involved in interviewing.
The above considerations are especially important when the researcher undertakes a study in Latin America. It is probably true that the typical Spanish- or Portuguese-speaking American is more sensitive to, and less appreciative of, the impersonal type of contact than is his English speaking counterpart. The writer frequently heard complaints from Brazilians about the cold, distant manner of "Americans." In fact, it is easy to get the impression that such behavior is considered insulting by many persons in Latin America; when it involves a Yankee, it is especially offensive.
The investigator may think of the interview as a strictly professional contact, but his impersonal objectivity may be interpreted quite differently by a Latin American respondent, who may feel that he is being treated as an "It" rather than a "You." In most cases the Latin American respondent appears to prefer being treated as a particular person as a subject rather than an object. His personal dignity and sense of worth may be injured by a stranger's impersonal, professional behavior. Such an interviewee may conclude that he is being used by a foreign researcher for ulterior motives. Queries on topics which the respondent considers t' be private matters may elicit answers which are valueless for scientific purposes, or such questions may even encourage him to decide that he is too busy to continue to permit himself to be questioned by an impertinent stranger.
It is quite likely that the North American researcher who expects Latin American respondents to be happy with a universalistic, impersonal interview will be awakened rudely as he proceeds with his study. In addition, the ethical questions of the invasion of personal privacy appear to be much more important to Latin Americans than they are to many North Americans. As a result, it is important to seek to avoid any unnecessary intrusions, which must be determined by criteria that are more stringent than those normally used in this country.
In light of the preceding discussion, the writer is convinced that interviewing in a Latin American setting usually will require much more time in becoming acquainted with the respondent as a particular person than is the case in North America. Information of a personal nature, if available from other reliable sources, such as the census, should not be sought. If it must be secured in the interview, an indirect approach may prove to be the best, and such qLeries may well be left until near the end of the contact. Skill is required to secure the needed information in a manner which will not give the respondent the impression that the investigator is lacking in appreciation of the former's rights to personal privacy. In general, it appears necessary to effect a compromise between the desired universalism of science and the required particularism of interpersonal relations in the Latin American context.
Perhaps the following suggestions may enhance an investigator's goal to be successful and ethical in his work.
1. An interviewer should be especially sensitive to his Latin American respondent's
desire to be considered as an individual. He should sincerely respect the interviewee's right to personal privacy, and not intrude in this area if he can avoid
2. A relatively great amount of time devoted to the careful planning of an interview,
so that unnecessary questions of a personal nature are not asked, should be considered as time well-spent. When the delicate questions are necessary, it may be
well to seek the aid of local, professional colleagues in planning their exact
wording, as well as the timing of their use.
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3. A very serious effort should be made to establish as personal a relationship as
possible with the respondent. This will take much more time than often expected,
but without such relations it is difficult to gain meaningful information in an
A researcher may easily jeopardize his study if he neglects to develop personal contacts with hfs respondents, or if he fails to be sensitive to their feelings. In addition, he may make future research more difficult or impossible. A lack of appreciation of the problems discussed here may lead North Americans to devise questionnaires or schedules which produce unfortunate reactions in Latin America. The Camelot project is not unique.
FACULTY, GRADUATE STUDENTS Faculty members and graduate students will begin
GET COLOMBIAN ASSIGNMENTS accepting special research and teaching assignUNDER FOCIFEL1ER GRANT ments at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, this fall as a result of the $230,000 grant to the Unive_sity of Florida by the Rockefeller Foundation in January.
Dr. Lyle N. McAlister, director of the University's Center for Latin American Studies, vill serve as administrator of the grant.
During the three years the grant will be in effect, the University of Florida will provide up to three faculty members and five doctoral degree candidates per year -Who will work to strengthen the programs in sociology, political science, and history at Universidad del Valle. Research will be undertaken in the fields of rural-urban migration, health, housing, education and employment, regional and urban public administration and the economic development of metropolitan Cali and adjacent areas.
A lack of sufficient trained personnel has created problems in offering basic courses in political science at the Colombian university, and similar courses in sociology can presently be offered to only a portion of the students. The recent addition of a bachelor's degree program in history at Universidad del Valle has made increases in the scope of uhis aiscip'ine essential.
Participation in this program will, of course, also be of benefit to the University of Florida students and faculty. Said Dr. McAlister, "This program will give the faculty an opportunity for overseas experience and will give the participating graduate students some field experience and an opportunity to do some teaching at the same time."
-ne program will begin with the fall term at Cali next September and will be coordinated during a planning session involving representatives of the two universities this spring.
PE YlIAN COLONEL SAYS "National sec-urity is the primary role of the
NAT'L D1VELOPMENT IS armed forces in Peru,' stated Colonel Marco FerIMPORTANT TO SECURITY nandez Baca in addressing a University of Florida
audience February 23, "but, development of the country is critical to its security."
This is the reason Col, Fernandez, of the Peruvian Army's Corps of Engineers, gave for tie hu.:e road building project presently being undertaken by the Army throughout his couny W a.d that the roads were not only a military necessity, but were vital to an adequate commerce and communication network for the development of the country's economy.
Primarily, he said, the reasons the Army had undertaken the building of Peru's roads through -che previously unopened Andes, Sierras and lowlands, were that the Army had the necessary logistical support and manpower to do the job efficiently and economically. Col. Fernandez estimated that while the costs for civilian labor would be between $200,000
$300,000 per kilometer, the Army was able to do the work for one-tenth that amount.
ie did stress, however, that the Army's object was not to take business from the civilian companies, but rather to accelerate the road building progress. In every case, the Corps ef Engineers has built the dirt or gravel roads and left the paving to civilian concerns.
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Another project undertaken by the military in recent years has been the resettling of Peruvians from the highlands to the valleys, where the previously uncultivated land could be put to use. This project, Col. Fernandez admitted, has not been a success because the people were neither psychologically nor biologically prepared for the rapid transit tion. He stated that in the future the moves would have to be made in gradual steps to accustom the people to the new conditions they would be required to face. As a result of this program, and use of the new roads, Col. Fernandez said the Peruvian government hopes to increase five-fold the otal land under cultivation within the next 10 years,
He pointed to these government programs to pro-.de the people of Peru with more roads, place more land under cultivation, and supply more widespread medical aid, as the reasons for the country's present stability. "We know we still have plenty of problems," he said, "but we are attempting to solve them."
Col. Fernandez said he considers raising the living standards of the people to be the government's most pressing concern.
His talk was illustrated with both color slides and motion pictures which provided graphic evidence of the improvements made in the interior of Peru as well as the problems still confronting the nation. Col. Ftrnandez added that in addition to the major efforts of the Army, much of the credit for what has been accomplished so far must go also to the Peruvian Navy and Air Force, USAID, and other contributing agencies of the United States which have provided financial aid and eqlpment used in the road building projects. During the question and answer period he also ackno-Tledged the assistance given the Peruvian armed forces by U. S. Military Lissions in Peru.
On February 22, University of Florida Pre ident, Dr. J. Wayne Reitz presented Col. Fernandez with the University of Florida medallion for distinguished services. Dr. Reitz also attended Col. Fernandez' lecture and participated in the following question and answer period.
Col. Fernandez formerly served as Director of Studies at the Escuela Militar of Peru, and as Chief of Military Highway Construction attended courses in engineering and physics in the United States, France, England, Brazil and Argentina. His present assignment is Chief of the Coordinating Group for National Development of the General Staff of the Peruvian Army. His visit was jointly sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Department of Geography.
LATIN AMERICAN COLLOQUIUM TOPICS
BRAZILIAN SCHOLARS by Lee Fennell
Two specialists in Brazilian politics who have made intensive studies of recent elections in that country presented summaries of their findings to the Latin American Colloquium on February 16.
Speakers were Professors Thomas L. Page, University of Florida, Department of Political Science, and Christian Anglade, Department of Government, University of Essex, England. Mr. Anglade and his wife, who teaches Brazilian literature, were visiting here en route home from Brazil.
Page told the audience that one of the most interesting findings to emerge from his study of political recruitment in the 1962 elections in the state of Guanabara was the importance of generational differences within the parties and between parties. Within parlies, he said, winning candidates are usually ten to fifteen years older than the losers, while the smaller parties contain more young men than the larger parties. Page said this would indicate that young men often cannot find a place in the established parties and consequently break off and build their own a process facilitated by the ease with which parties can be created.
Among methodological problems Page said he encou-tered was the difficulty of locating many candidates a year after the election and their frequent reluctance during interviews to discuss income and source, group affiliations, and, at times, even politics in general. He said he found political biographies and autobiographies, political directories, and candidate qualifying petitions to bE valuable sources of data to supplement interview material.
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Anglade, who studied the 1965 gubernatorial elections in eleven Brazilian states, said the campaigns represented a return to "traditional Brazilian politics" extensive local coalitions, personalism, regionalism, and a resurgence of family feuds in some states.
Thus, while agreeing that the outcome of the elections did show some ideological rejection of the Castelo Branco national government, Anglade contended that this rejection was not as clear as was commonly held because the voting, even if ideological, was based on local rather than national factors.
PSYCHOLOGY PROFESSOR A study of the relationship between the personalTO STUDY LANGUAGE- ity traits and individual differences in speaking
PERSONALITY TIES among Latin Americans will be the subject of a
seven-week study tour this summer by Dr. James C. Dixon, University of Florida professor of psychology.
Dr. Dixon explained the problems involved in such a study during the regular bi-monthly Latin American Colloquium when it met March 2 in the Florida Union. He told the members of the colloquium that his biggest problem was how to measure the Spanish language usage objectively once he has taped the one or two hundred interviews he believes will be necessary for his study. Because of the language differences between English and Spanish, he said, none of the tests used for English measurement are directly applicable.
Measuring the personality traits of the respondents will not be difficult according to Dr. Dixon. He will merely use a universal 16-factor personality test that has been proved an accurate indicator of introversion, extroversion, intelligence, and other factors. But making a study of language usage is quite another thing. Said Dr. Dixon, "I have been studying Spanish for five years, yet a Spanish speaker can use the subjunctive in more ways than I can even remember."
One of the most common means of measuring language usage in English is to apply a simple verb-adjective ratio, because a person's use of adjectives increases when certain personality traits are present. This test, however, could not be used in Spanish because in that language the nouns are altered instead, eliminating the need for many adjectives.
Osgood's Semantic Differential, while somewhat more complicated, "may be the most promising technique for cross-cultural comparisons," Dr. Dixon said. He did add, though, that he was not entirely satisfied with any means of measuring Spanish that he had found so far.
During the talk he mentioned other problems he foresaw, but said he had not discovered any means for adequately dealing with them yet. One of these is the regional differences between the language spoken by the Latin Americans. He said the rate at which a.person speaks is directly related to the individual's personality and/or mood. This is, however, subject to wide variation due to environment and other contributing factors. He used the example of the difference between the speech of persons from Massachusetts and Mississippi in the United States, to illustrate this point.
Intonation patterns, he explained, are also important to the study, but are particularly difficult to measure. By placing the emphasis on different words in the Spanish sentence, "Vamos a ver qu6 pasa," he demonstrated that the meaning can be completely changed. Objective measurement of such factors is nearly impossible.
:,:bers of the colloquium were called upon, by Dr. Dixon, during the question and answer period, to offer any suggestions as to how the study might best be conducted.
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C.I.L.A. OFFERS Centro Interamericano de Libros Acad4micos (CILA)
SCHOLARLY WORKS has recently opened in Mexico City and is a new
ON TOPICS FROM source of Latin American scholarly materials.
THE AMERICAS This organization is sponsored by the American
Association of University Presses and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and operates on funds granted by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations. It is designed to distribute books published by universities and scholarly institutions throughout the Americas.
Because CILA is a non-profit organization, the prices of books are kept as close to the list price as possible. For all books from Latin America which are imported by air freight to Mexico City, there is usually a 10 to 15 per cent markup to cover import costs; however, scholars receive a 10 per cent discount on all purchases. Any individual or library may order books from CILA.
A list of all books available through CILA, arranged by subject, may be obtained by writing to Jonathan Rose, Subdirector, CILA, Sullivan 31 Bis, Mexico 4, D. F.
VISITING PROFESSOR EXPERT ON Dr. Hiroshi Saito, Professor of Sociology at the
BRAZILIAN IMMIGRANTS' PROBLEMS Fundacgo Escola de Sociologia e Politica de Sao
Paulo, is serving as visiting Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Florida for the winter trimester.
He is presently teaching two courses: Sy 599, Special Problems of Brazilian Society, and Sy 630, a seminar on Studies of Acculturation and Assimilation of Immigrants in Brazil. During his years in Brazil, Dr. Saito was actively involved in the matter of resettling and reorienting immigrants (especially Japanese immigrants) in Brazil and so has acquired a special understanding of the problems most often encountered.
Born in Japan, he was himself an immigrant in Brazil when he moved there with his family, as a teenager, in 1934. Since then he has returned to Japan only three times, the most recent being from 1957-1959 when he earned his Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Kobe.
Dr. Saito's wife and three children did not accompany him when he came to Florida for this brief teaching assignment, but remain in Sao Paulo where he will return to his regular teaching post at the end of this term.
Concerning his stay at the University of Florida, Dr. Saito commented that he was very much impressed with the students and faculty with whom he has had contact. He said, "The research work being done by faculty and students is both very specialized and interesting."
NEW FACULTY MEMBERS
The Department of Foreign Languages has announced two new faculty appointments to be effective in September.
Gerald W. Petersen, who has been named Assistant Professor of Spanish, is presently completing his doctoral work at the University of Illinois under an NDEA Title VI fellowship. His main field of interest is the Latin American novel, and his dissertation deals with the narrative art of Pedro Prado. He has traveled throughout much of South America Pnd has resided for nearly three years in Argentina and Chile.
Richard Preto-Rodas, who will receive his Ph.D. this spring from the University of Michigan, has been named an assistant professor of Portuguese and Spanish. He holds two M.A.'s, one in Philosophy and one in Spanish, and is especially interested in the literature of Brazil and Portugal. His thesis in Spanish dealt with an aspect of Gaucho literature. Awarded a post-doctoral estdgio by the University of Recife, he will spend this summer in Brazil before assuming his teaching post in the fall.
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Dr. Francine F. Rabinovitz will join the University of Florida's Department of Political Science faculty in September. She is presently an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Rutgers University and has taught courses in comparative politics, international relations and methodology and political behavior.
Dr. Rabinovitz received her A.B. from Cornell University in 1961 and her Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965. A Woodrow Wilson and National Defense Fellow, Dr. Rabinovitz has had considerable research experience and has had articles published by AID, and will have an article in the June issue of Urban Affairs Quarterly. Publication is now pending on a book, International and Comparative Urban Studies, which she wrote with Robert Gutman.
Dr. Neill Macaulay, Assistant Professor of History, will resume his teaching duties at the University of Florida this fall. He is presently in Brazil as a postdoctoral Ford fellow doing research on the Prestes Column.
DR. SANCHEZ PLANS Dr. Cirilo Antonio Sanchex Gills, Director of the
UF VISIT TO DISCUSS Department of Agricultural Economics of Paraguay
MARKETING ECONOMICS will visit the University of Florida School of
Agriculture March 16-18. During his visit he will meet with Dr. K. R. Tefertiller to discuss production and marketing economics.
Dr. Sanchez's visit is part of the U. S. Department of State's International Visitor Program and began January 24 in Washington, D. C. He will return to Asuncion, Paraguay on March 24. His tour has included, so far, stops at major agricultural centers across the United States from San Francisco to New York City, as well as visits to the U. S. Department of State and the U. S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D. C.
In addition to being director of the Department of Agricultural Economics in Paraguay, Dr. Sanchez is also a member of the National Council of Foreign Trade, a member of the National Council on Wages and Salaries, a member of the Latin American Free Trade Association, and Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics and Currency at the National University of Asuncion.
Jose A. Carache and Sergio Molina of Nicaragua are the Latin American participants in an A.I.D. sponsored tour group presently making a study of "Animal Husbandry in Semi-Tropical Areas" at the University of Florida. Harry Wise of the School of Agriculture organized the four-week program of study.
The participants, who arrived in Gainesville February 21, will take part in classes, seminars and field trips organized by the school until the tour ends March 18. The majority of their time will be spent in a study of pasture development and animal nutrition.
Molina, who has just received his master's degree from Kansas State University, will return to Nicaragua at the end of the tour. Carache, however, plans to enroll at the University of Florida beginning with the summer term to complete the requirements for his bachelor's degree.
Ten Guatemalan Ministry of Agriculture employees will arrive at the University of Florida March 27 to participate in a two-week program covering all phases of agricultural production and marketing. Dr. L. 0. Gratz is in charge of the group and will accompany them to Georgia where they will complete the second two weeks of their four-week study program.
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Fernando Figueira of Brazil is attending a six-week A.I.D. sponsored study of subtropical agriculture in Florida. His itinerary was prepared by Harry Wise of the School of Agriculture. During his tour he will visit the Subtropical Experiment Station, the Plantation Field Laboratory in Ft. Lauderdale, the Indian River Field Laboratory, and the University's Center for Tropical*Agriculture.
Dr. E. T. York, Jr., and Dr. Hugh Popenoe are co-authors of a publication entitled "Agricultural Development in Nicaragua," recently issued by the USDA in cooperation with AID. This report is the result of two months of study undertaken by them during September and October 1965.
The Center for Latin American Studies, in cooperation with the Center for Tropical Agriculture, is presenting an intensive Spanish language course during Trimester III-A for the faculty of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences to help those preparing for Latin American assignments during the coming year. Those who are interested should contact Mrs. McElwee at Extension 2711.
The Organization for Tropical Studies is offering fellowships for students who wish to attend courses on tropical ecology in Costa Rica during the summer months. Further information and applications may be obtained from Dr. Archie Carr or Dr. Hugh Popenoe in the Center for Tropical Agriculture.
Five faculty members of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences recently returned from short-term assignments in Costa Rica unde-r a University of Florida-AID contract. Drs. Blue, Montelaro, Orsenigo, Pritchett and Shirley stayed at least one month each in Costa Rica for consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture on various problems.
Dr. Raymond E. Crist and Dr. Hugh Popenoe recently attended a seminar on "Problems of Land Settlement and Development in the Tropics," which was sponsored by the Agricultural Development Council, Inc., at the University of Michigan. Dr. Popenoe presented a paper on "The Role of Soils in Tropical Agriculture.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS, MARCH 11 APRIL 10
March 16: Latin American Colloquium. Professor Irving L. Horowitz of the Department of
Sociology, Washington University at St. Louis, will discuss "Military Sociology and Latin American Development." Rm. 215, Florida Union, 8:00 p.m.
18-19: Thirteenth Annual Conference of SECOLAS (Southeastern Conference on Latin
American Studies). Topic of Discussion: Uruguay and Paraguay. Chateau
Bleau Inn, Miami, Florida.
30: Latin American Colloquium, Rm. 215 Florida Union, 8:00 10:00 p.m.