Programa de Estudios sobre Clases Medias – Program for Studies on the Middle Class

Introduction

This research program was created in 2011, although it has already started as a study group of the Centre for Social Anthropology since 2004. The program is a meeting place for scholars
whose purpose is the theoretical and methodological renewal of the middle classes studies, especially in Argentina. In accordance with current research on social class from historical and ethnographic perspectives, this program studies the “middle class” not merely as a causal effect of the structural logic of capitalism, but as a specific historical, social and cultural process. Our main goal is to empirically study the processes of middle class formation in different national and regional contexts from a comparative point of view, with particular emphasis on its historical and complex nature, including the dimension of human agency. The program has a strong interdisciplinary tone, combining historical, sociological and socio-anthropological approaches. The task is to question Eurocentric and universalistic claims of the middle class conceptions highlighting instead their variability and heterogeneity. Although quantitative approaches are not dismissed, the program privileges the study of everyday practices of so-called “middle class”; so, the program pays particular attention to the ways of organizing, lifestyles and public performances of the so-called middle classes. In addition to participating in research projects, members of this program held a monthly seminar where papers are presented and discussed, and a workshop every two years. Its director is currently Sergio E. Visacovsky.

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