Sociologist, PhD (IUPERJ, 1999), with a strong interest in Sociology of Culture and Sociology of Development. He is Professor at the University of the Republic, Uruguay, and member of the National System of Researchers, Level II. He wrote ten books published in United States, Canada, Argentina and Uruguay, and multiple articles in specialized magazines as well as in press. He has been Visiting Professor in many universities of North America, Europe and South America. He won the National Literary Award of Uruguay three times: in 2011 and 2012 in the Category Social Sciences and in 2001 in the Category Literary Essay.
His research has focused in the following questions: Which are the paths to construct multicultural democracies in social contexts of great cultural, ethnic and religious heterogeneity, as is the case in the XXIst century? Which is the role of culture in development processes? How can we think ourselves in the contemporary technological acceleration?
On his last book (co-author Kirk Bowman) Lessons from Latin America. Innovations in Politics, Culture, and Development (University of Toronto Press, 2014), the former President of the International Sociological Association, Michael Burawoy wrote: "This is global sociology at its best, accessible and even lyrical. Talking across continents, Arocena and Bowman give substance to the idea that Latin America is home to some of the most innovative, socially conscious, and forward-looking institutions, belying so many sterile stereotypes. A magnificent celebration of the Latin American sociological imagination.