The British Sociological Association (BSA) is opposed in the strongest possible terms to plans recently announced by President Bolsonaro of Brazil to withdraw government funding of sociology and philosophy from Brazil’s public universities.

We understand that this is intended to focus public investment in areas of ‘immediate returns’ to the taxpayer, such as engineering, medicine and veterinary science. This is a spectacular demonstration of the Bolsonaro government’s lack of ambition for the wider skills and life-chances of his citizens, and more widely of concern for the inclusive future of the nation. Sociology provides students with the capacity to think analytically about social life and social change and strategically about policy and other interventions for social inclusion and prosperity. Sociology graduates make a vibrant contribution to the life of a nation, across industry, government and civil society. Without this, Brazil will be immeasurably poorer.

BSA members, study groups and journal editors stand with colleagues in Brazil in demonstrating that the study of sociology provides a crucial means of understanding and acting in the world, and that its provision in Brazil as anywhere else is part of an educational environment that underpins democratic societies.

We urge the Bolsonaro government to think again.

Professor Susan Halford, BSA President
Dr John Bone, BSA Chair

Note: Read the statements written by colleagues around the world who are expressing their outrage and concern – together these letters are a powerful indictment of Pres. Bolsonaro’s decision.  We urge you to read them and publicise further.