Constanza Tobío Soler


Constanza Tobío was born in Montevideo (Uruguay) in 1954, where her parents lived, exiled from the Spanish Civil War. She belongs to the first generation of graduates in Political Science and Sociology from the Complutense University, studies that she completed in 1977. In 1987, she obtained her Doctorate Degree with a thesis on the socioeconomic restructuring of the Madrid metropolitan space during the period 1970-85, under the direction of Manuel Castells.

In 2005, he obtained the Habilitation of Sociology and a year later the professorship at the Carlos III University of Madrid. She has been Director of the Department and Vice-Dean of Sociology at that university, as well as Director of the Master in Contemporary European Political Culture (Euromaster) and the Master in Transatlantic Relations (TAM) organized with the universities of Bath, Siena, Humboldt, Frei, Sciences Po , Washington (UW) and North Carolina (UNC-Chapel Hill). As a visiting professor or researcher, she has spent stays at the universities of Bath, La Sapienza, Siena, Florence, Padua and Montevideo, as well as at the Center d'Etudes de l'Emploi of the CNRS in Paris.

Her main research topics are urban sociology, gender, single parenthood, intergenerational relations, social policies, family-employment conciliation and care. She also works on recovering the contributions of sociologists forgotten by the dominant canon such as Harriet Martineau or Mirra Komarovski. He has been a member of various European research networks, among others the TSER “Working and Mothering” (with the universities of Frankfurt, Lund, Florence, Oslo and the London School of Economics) or RTN “Grandparenthood and Intergenerational Relationships” (CNAV-Paris, Goldsmiths College, Oslo, Athens) where she has collaborated with Jane Lewis, Claudine Attias-Donfut and Ute Gerhard, among other sociologists. He has belonged to the Executive Committee of the European Sociological Association, as well as the Editorial Committee of its journal, European Societies . He is a member of the Advisory Board of the CIS and of the Editorial Boards of the Classics of Sociology Collection and the REIS, in addition to those of other scientific journals such as Family Science, International Journal of Iberian Studies, Rétraite et Societé or Politics and Society . He has nearly 200 publications, including books, articles or book chapters. These include Working Mothers: Dilemmas and Strategies (winner of the Angeles Durán Prize), Caring for People: A Challenge for the 21st Century, and The Gender View in Sociology .

National Prize for Sociology and Political Science 2021

Majesty, Minister, President of the CIS, President of the Royal Theater, colleagues and friends,

Good morning. It is a pleasure to carry out the laudatio of Professor Constanza Tobío, on the occasion of her obtaining the 2021 National Prize for Sociology and Political Science awarded by the CIS. It is, without a doubt, the reference award for the community of sociologists and political scientists.

The celebration of this award ceremony by His Majesty occurs after a crisis on a global scale of magnitude unknown since the middle of the last century. The pandemic has represented, with all its drama and cost, a rare opportunity for “collective learning through shock,” in an expression coined by the Club of Rome. A crisis whose turning point has been reached thanks to research.

Scientific knowledge of nature and life is, furthermore, wonderful in itself, essential for the well-being of all. For its part, without advanced technologies, the current global and hyperconnected society would collapse. But without the knowledge provided by the social-scientific disciplines, the complex institutional framework of the present would be ineffective and inefficient in structuring, via public policies and decisions of private agents, social life in the highly complex conditions of the 21st century. Therefore, the work of the community of social scientists has enormous social, as well as scientific, value.

Peter Medawar, Nobel Laureate in Medicine, wrote that “Scientists are people of very different temperaments, doing different things differently. Among them there are collectors, classifiers, and compulsive order seekers; many are detectives by temperament and many others are explorers; some are artists and others craftsmen. There are poet-scientists and philosopher-scientists and even a few mystics.” There are ultimately many styles of doing science. To Medawar's typology, it should be added in the case of Sociology, that there are sociologists with “quantitativist” and “qualitativist” methodological orientations, macro-level analysts and others at micro-level, researchers focused on analysis, adhering to the principle of “axiological neutralism” defended by Weber, and others in criticizing and transforming existing institutions from tables of extracognitive values. There are “regional” sociologists, focused on one area of social life, and other generalists. There are sociologists dedicated to mapping the social structures of a country and others focused on comparing societies or even understanding global processes.

All this as a preamble to understand what type of contribution the CIS jury has awarded.

Professor Tobío is a professor of Sociology at one of our universities of excellence, the Carlos III University of Madrid, of whose Department of Social Analysis she has been director and whose modeling she has contributed significantly, being today a reference in the specialty. In the literature on the transmission of science, the value for students of having teachers who come to the classroom from the laboratory, the computer or the work table has been noted, that is, from research, transmitting the passion for the subject. knowledge and science in the process of creation. Constanza Tobío has transmitted her vision of sociology and the social problems of greatest interest to several generations of sociologists, men and women, and she has done so through a continuum that exemplarily connects advanced research with teaching. He has directed the doctoral theses of a dozen young researchers, incorporating them into his research projects. His disciples, not by chance, are already particularly outstanding sociologists. She has been a visiting professor at numerous universities and international research centers, including the CNRS in Paris, the Sapienza University of Rome, the universities of Florence, Padua, Bath, and Montevideo.

Professor Tobío's research side has been reflected in more than 180 publications, many of them international in first quartile journals. She is the author of monographs considered reference works. His publications have achieved unusually high impact ratings, suggestive of his contribution to shaping research on a global scale.

From the very beginning of her successful research career, the award-winner has focused on emerging formal objects, the kind that require high doses of innovation and risk. It has contributed, together with the work of Professors Durán and Alberdi, to opening a path that is particularly rich analytically and, furthermore, extremely useful for signaling issues in need of correction by public policies and private behaviors.

Her doctoral thesis “The economic and social restructuring of the metropolitan area of Madrid (1970-1985)”, directed by Professor Manuel Castells, was a pioneer in the application of the gender perspective to urban analysis, giving rise to several illuminating publications.

A preferred research object of the winner has been the complex bidirectional relationships between family and employment from a gender perspective. The book Working Mothers. Dilemmas and strategies, it is simply the inexcusable reference on an issue of the greatest social relevance. With conceptually Cartesian prose and robust evidence, she has brought to light the inconsistencies between a new labor model of women who do not abandon the labor market once they have children, with the dominant family model, in which women continue to assume a disproportionate burden. of tasks in the domestic environment, in addition to other imbalances with components of the social system such as school. This work has shown how women try to overcome the shortcomings of public policies and the inertia of men's behaviors by developing what they have labeled as “private and informal strategies” to manage the overload and tension of roles, which ultimately Ultimately, they lead to a chain of processes of substitution of some women for others, without this representing a socially equitable solution. This pioneering book, followed by a large number of articles, is supported by four major research projects directed by the author herself over a period of eight years.

From a perspective of comparative analysis between societies, she has collaborated and published with some of the most influential researchers in the area, such as Jane Lewis, Ute Gerhard and Fiona Williams.

The award-winner has directed the large survey on Family Networks in Andalusia, coordinated with parallel surveys carried out in France and the United Kingdom. Their work has falsified the dominant idea that family networks are a mere residue of the old extended family, showing on the contrary that they constitute an essential component of the process of modernization and female incorporation into labor activity.

In addition to a marked innovative vocation, reflected in the selection of new objects and problems, Constanza Tobío's differential work style is characterized by a fruitful combination of quantitative and qualitative methodologies and macro and micro, wide-angle and "zoom" perspectives. ”, managing to give breadth as well as analytical depth to the issues addressed. A crystallization of this style is the elegant article dedicated to the unequal growth trajectories of women's employment in Spain and Italy, showing that social transformations once achieved are not guaranteed to continue.

Much of her sociological research is guided by values and the desire to contribute to the correction of gender inequalities. But this evaluative orientation does not compromise the weight assigned to scientific objectivity, which is achieved through the imaginative and rigorous interaction of the two cardinal elements of scientific practice: observation - crystallized in data - and theory. The feedback cycle between observation and reasoning has been the lever to develop scientific knowledge of nature and society and, in turn, these gains in knowledge have shaped our way of being and acting in the world, maximizing collective well-being. . For some authors, gender perspective and feminist perspective are equivalent terms. Constanza Tobío's work is compatible with the framework of values of that movement, but she distinguishes perfectly between those two spaces, that of a social movement of enormous importance and that of the scientific analysis of social reality. Through analysis rather than mere appeal to values, the winner has transparently shown the existence of marked inequalities and inconsistencies that social action and public policies must aim to correct.

In addition to her influential research on family and employment and on networks, Constanza Tobio, in collaboration with professors Alcañiz and Martin, has applied the gender analytical perspective to renew the study of canonical “social spheres,” from the family to power and politics, along with the examination of burning problems of our time such as conciliation and co-responsibility, violence against women and social inequality. The work The Gender View in Sociology has brought to light central facets of social life that are not reachable from conventional conceptual perspectives. I am sure that it will continue to expand the social issues visible only or especially from the analytical perspective of gender. What he has already achieved is a lot and the entire community of sociologists is recognized for it, through this prestigious CIS award.

I'm done now. Constanza Tobío has developed a style of doing sociology that, far from being limited to one of the types of doing science in Medawar's typology, plastically incorporates several of them. A combination that has resulted in a unique contribution to renew and expand the frontiers of sociology as a science and, in parallel, to point out and clarify social issues of special relevance that we must correct with the greatest determination.

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