Current Issues on the Political Representation of Middle Classes in Chile

Emmanuelle Barozet, Vicente Espinoza


In this article, we analyze the impact that the evolution of the middle classes has had on political representation in Chile. Based on a description of the transformations of Chilean social structure in recent decades, we review the conceptual frameworks available on the subject, from modernization theories and the rise of new masses – particularly the one that “emerged” from poverty – to the forming of new critical citizens. We state that the heterogeneity of Chilean middle classes has challenged the discredited representation system. We observe more efficient representation channels developing for medium-high-income, educated, and consolidated sectors in contrast to new social policy demands from emerging and vulnerable sectors, focusing more on consolidating their economic status than on improving representation channels.

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