New Americas Quarterly on the Middle Class in Latin America Released

When

November 12, 2012

Details

Meet Latin America's Real Middle Class: What they Believe, What they Purchase, What they Want

Courted by politicians and businesses alike, perhaps no sector of society is as difficult to pin down and define as the middle class. Latin America’s growing middle class is transforming the political, economic and social landscape of the hemisphere, generating unprecedented national growth, asserting political demands, creating new markets, and often struggling not to relapse into poverty. The latest issue of Americas Quarterly, released on Monday, November 12, defines what it means to be middle class in Latin America—celebrating the achievements and aspirations of Latin America’s middle class while examining the challenges that lie ahead for this fast-growing yet vulnerable sector.

The Fall 2012 AQ includes feature articles by scholars and experts such as Luis Felipe Lopez-Calva, who examines different ways of measuring the middle class, Jamele Rigolini, who discusses how middle-class growth in Latin America compares to growth in the booming nations of India and China, and María-Eugenia Boza, who analyzes three different case studies in which businesses adapted their methods to better market to the middle class in Latin America. Meanwhile, Scott Winship and Ron Haskins challenge the perception that the middle class is shrinking in the U.S., and Elizabeth Zechmeister, Laura Sellers and Mitchell A. Seligson use Vanderbilt University’s Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) data to examine whether the new middle class is more (or less) democratic in terms of its values and behavior. Providing an inside look at middle-class life in Latin America, journalists Lauren Villagran, Mitra Taj, Taylor Barnes and Haley Cohen spend time speaking to families in Mexico, Peru, Brazil and Argentina about their struggles, sacrifices and hopes for the future.

Finally, in a special section, AQ will celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the Ford Foundation in Latin America, beginning with an introduction by former Chilean President and Ford Foundation grantee Ricardo Lagos, who describes the foundation’s contributions to social science research during the worst years of the military regimes in the Southern Cone. Lagos joins the long list of eminent Ford Foundation beneficiaries who have gone on to affect important social and political changes in their countries—including Monsignor Juan José Gerardi, the courageous Roman Catholic bishop and human rights defender who released the Guatemala: Nunca Más report two days before he was murdered by members of the Guatemalan military in 1998. Other featured Ford grantees include Afro-Brazilian educator and activist Marcelo Paixão; Mexican pro-choice advocate and founder of GIRE Marta Lamas; and President of the Organización Nacional de Mujeres Indígenas Andinas y Amazónicas del Perú (ONAMIAP) Gladis Vila Pihue. In their own words, they exemplify the lasting legacy of the Ford Foundation’s alliance with leaders for social and political change across the hemisphere.

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In This Issue:

FEATURE SECTION

Not Poor, But Not Middle Class…Yet
LUIS F. LÓPEZ-CALVA
Defining the middle class reveals a new vulnerable segment, and a new policy challenge.

Latin America’s Middle Class in Global Perspective
JAMELE RIGOLINI
Different patterns of economic growth in BRIC countries has brought different social changes.

The Middle Class Market Boom
MARÍA EUGENIA BOZA
From sweatshops to supermarkets: why the middle class is good for business.

Double Profit
ALANA TUMMINO
The perils of consumer debt.

CHARTICLE: Democracy and the Middle Class
ELIZABETH J. ZECHMEISTER, LAURA SELLERS and MITCHELL A. SELIGSON
A force for progress—or destabilization?

Higher Education in Chile
RICHARD ANDRÉ
Quality comes at a high cost.

The U.S. Middle Class Is (Not) Shrinking
SCOTT WINSHIP and RON HASKINS
But the good news stops there.

Lives of the Middle Class
LAUREN VILLAGRAN, MITRA TAJ, TAYLOR BARNES, and HALEY COHEN

The Public Debate Over Private Lives
JOAN CAIVANO and JANE MARCUS-DELGADO
Shifts in reproductive rights in the hemisphere.

ASK THE EXPERTS
How does higher education guarantee entering the middle class? Alicia Bárcena, Francisco Rivera-Batiz, Georges Haddad, and Rebeca Grynspan respond.

AQ UPFRONT

Learning the Ropes
R. EVAN ELLIS
China adjusts to doing business in the Americas.

Will Old Age & Bad Health Bankrupt the Americas?
DAVID E. BLOOM and ELIZABETH T. CAFIERO
Longer life spans increase vulnerability to cancer, stroke and other costly illnesses.

Workers of Polar Unite-In Defense of Capitalism!
RICHARD E. FEINBERG and CARLUED LEON
How a Venezuelan company defied the expropriators.

Brazil’s Strategic Leap Forward
THOMAS A. SHANNON, JR.
Transforming educational exchanges into strategic diplomacy.

DEPARTMENTS

Panorama: World Cup qualifiers, Guayana celebrates Diwali, 10 Things To Do in Oaxaca, Peru’s Chavín ruins, and more.

Hard Talk: Do regional trade agreements weaken the global push for free trade? James Bacchus and Bernard K. Gordon debate.

Innovators: Edivan Costa unsnarls Brazilian red tape. Marisela Morales battles the narco-cartels. Damián Osta champions Montevideo’s free press. Mati Zundel blends Argentine rock and folk.

Policy Updates: Luis Cubeddu, Camilo Tovar and Evridiki Tsounta on the region’s mortgage market, Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes and Nelson Camilo Sánchez on new human rights threats, Lisa Genasci on Brazil’s Olympics and World Cup preparations.

Fresh Look Reviews: Thomas C. Bruneau on drug trafficking and the law in Central America. José Luis León-Manríquez on the silent Chinese conquest of the hemisphere. Nnenna M. Ozobia on Afro-Mexican identity.




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