Classes and Income in Brazil on the Last Decade: From the New Middle Class to the 'affluent' Working Class

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:24
Location: Hörsaal 34 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Andre SALATA, Pontificia Universidade do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
This research aims to analyses, from the perspective of class studies in Sociology, the argument of economists about the emergence of a new middle class in Brazil. In order to accomplish it, we bring the debate conducted in Economics, in which class is defined by income, as well as the debate of the Sociology of Stratification, in which classes are defined by the occupational information. Using the National Household Survey Program (PNAD) data, from 2002 to 2013, we argue that the changes in the class structure were not significant enough to support the idea of the existence of a new class in Brazil, neither that there was a growth in the traditional middle class. As an alternative, we show that the changes in Brazilian society on the last decade could be better understood as a decline on income inequality between classes. Thus, instead of a new middle class, it would be more correct, in order to describe those changes, to talk about the reduction of the income inequalities between classes, as a consequence of the increasing income and consumption among working class families.