Print version ISSN 1517-4522
SAUL, Renato P.. Social capital and the privatization of knowledge. Sociologias [online]. 2008, n.19, pp. 130-177. ISSN 1517-4522. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-45222008000100008.
This work examines the intellectual movement that dominated the scientific thought in the social sciences from the 1960s onwards, and its connection with the changes in the world's economic and political relations since then, emphasizing the United States. Two of the most significant manifestations of this movement are found in questions related to the identification of an institutional crisis in American democracy and the need for a process to re-evaluate the role of sociology, both from the institutional point of view, and as a tool to explain the social reality of the country and the world. The reorganization of America's economic power, as a result of the technological development and the globalization process, provides the background for the political crisis in the United States. When it becomes evident that the foundations of the American democracy are threatened by changes in its internal structure and behavior, it is possible to detect the development of a considerable amount of research and studies dealing with different perspectives of the large corporations' activities. As a counterpoint to the apparent deterioration of the internal political community, this effort intends to identify the commitments of the business circuit with the civic behavior and democracy, whether in the assertion of ethics in business, or in the perspective of the development of a social policy more compatible with the corporate strategies. It is in this context that the concept of social capital becomes the main articulator of political and theoretical disputes on the subject of the economic development and the changes verified in the industrial sector resulting from the expansion of new technologies and their effects regarding the need for a redimensioning of the intellectual property right.
Keywords : Sociological theory; corporation; technological revolution; social capital; intellectual property.