José Pérez Adán
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José Pérez Adán (born 1952 in Cartagena, Spain) is a Spanish sociologist. He holds a teaching and research position in Sociology at the University of Valencia (Spain). He is a charter member of the "Valencian Institute of Fertility, Sexuality and Family Relations (IVAF)" and of the "Inter-American Foundation for Science and Life". He is also a member of the board and one of the founders of the "Latin-American Association of Communitarianism (AIC)", presides the "Spanish chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Socioeconomics" and he is the general coordinator of the "Free International University of the Americas (ULIA)".
He does research and teaches on Socioeconomics, Communitarianism, Family Relations, and Environmental Studies, and he is the principal popularizer of the thought of Amitai Etzioni in the countries of Spanish language. He has been an expert adviser of the European Council in matters of gender equality and he is the director of the book series collection: "How", "Ten Topics", "University Texts", and "Rethink".
The sociology of Perez Adan hardly can dissociate from his life. In this sense one can affirm his vocation as a public sociologist. From his first investigations concerning the political theory of anarchism (his first book "Reformist Anarchism" was published in 1988) up to his commitment with communitarianism, has tried to make to see, both at theoretical and practical levels, the aptitude of human groups to manage its own affairs and the unnecessary importance we give to vertical structures of power.
His bet on civil society can be traced, in addition to his books, from the foundation of the "Ecological Group of the Mediterranean" (Valencia, 1990) up to the starting of the "Free International University of the Americas" (San Jose of Costa Rica, 2001), a center of studies of postgraduate level not linked to any state and that thanks to the new technologies of communication works within a moneyless economy without fees or costs.
Opposite to the refined contemporary individualism, Perez Adan defends the supremacy of society over the individual: "we all are born in families, languages, religions and cultures that exist already”. At the same time he defends the individual freedom, which understands not as the absence of domination (“the recognition of the dependencies can be a factor of autoachievement”), but as the consequence of the growth of responsibility (“the limit of one’s own freedom is not the freedom of others but our responsibility: beyond responsibility there is no freedom”).
In the nucleus of the thought of Perez Adan is the study of identity and in particular the family as the builder of humanity: "what lies at the bottom of our human condition is our familiar condition”. His most interesting conceptual contributions have arisen concerning the study of the family. Thus, the concept of "alienness" (from familiar incommunicability the individuation stems), or that of "functional family" (that one that fulfils the functions that society expects from her, that is: generational equity, socialization, social control and cultural transmission).
Perez Adan opposes the relativism that seems to dominate the sociological contemporary speech. The criterion of familiar functionality supposes the recognition that there can exist, and in fact there are, better and worse families. This distinction between better and worse can spread to any human group. In opinion of the author, the viability of the studies of development rests precisely on this premise.
Perez Adan defends in his work that the viability of a free and prosperous future lies in the recognition and support to the ties that conform human groups and communities and in the parallel and progressive fading away of the structures of compulsive power.
Author until 2008 of 40 books and 100 scientific articles. Among his published works the following stand out:
- Sociología: concepto y usos. Pamplona: Eunsa, 1997 ISBN 84-313-1496-6
- Socioeconomía. Madrid: Trotta, 1997 ISBN 84-8164-134-0
- Sociedad y Medio Ambiente. Madrid: Trotta, 1999 ISBN 84-8164-164-2
- La Salud Social. Madrid: Trotta, 1999 ISBN 84-8164-322-X
- Desarrollo Socioeconómico y Evolución Demográfica. Pamplona: Eunsa, 1999 ISBN 84-313-1701-9
- Las Terceras Vías. Madrid: Eiunsa, 2001 ISBN 84-8469-018-0
- Pensar la familia. Madrid: Palabra, 2001 ISBN 84-8239-583-1
- Diez Temas de Sociología. Madrid: Eiunsa, 2002 ISBN 84-8469-057-1
- Rebeldías. Madrid: Sekotia, 2002 ISBN 84-932920-2-8
- Comunitarismo. Madrid: Sekotia, 2003 ISBN 84-932920-9-5
- Sociología de la Familia y de la Sexualidad. Valencia: Edicep, 2004 ISBN 84-7050-821-0
- Repensar la Familia. Madrid: Eiunsa, 2005 ISBN 84-8469-136-5
- Cine y Sociedad: Prácticas de Ciencias Sociales. Madrid: Eiunsa, 2006 ISBN 84-8469-122-5
- Sociología del desarrollo sostenible. Valencia: Edicep, 2005 ISBN 978-84-7050-822-6
- Sociología: Comprender la Humanidad en el Siglo XXI. Madrid: Eiunsa, 2006 ISBN 84-8469-181-0
- Adiós Estado, bienvenida Comunidad. Madrid: Eiunsa, 2008 ISBN 978-84-8469-239-3