Elites’ Perception of Inequality: The Case of the Province of Córdoba, Argentina

Wednesday, 18 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Emilia SCHAIGORODSKY, National Scientific and Research Council-Universidad Nacional de Villa María, Córdoba, Argentina, Argentina
Elites’ perception of inequality: the case of the province of Córdoba, Argentina

This proposal aims to show the first results of an ongoing research (part of a future doctoral dissertation) about the economic elite in the province of Córdoba, Argentina. Its main goal is to characterize the practices of local businessmen nucleated in the chambers of commerce and industry (Cámara de Comercio de Córdoba and Unión Industrial de Córdoba, respectively).

In this instance, we will analyze the perception of the local elite about social inequality and the economic policies taken upon by the government. The events in Argentina and the region in the last couple of years are useful to study elites in the way proposed in the session. Since the end of 2015 Argentina has seen an abrupt shift in the tendencies of the government, with the ascent of a new political coalition (Cambiemos) that brought upon a change from a populist economic policy centered in “redistribution” to an open-market policy. This scenario has been characterized as many analysts as a “CEOcracy”, on which members of the economic elite have pressured to limit public policies aimed at reducing social inequality and have increased their voicing of opinions and interests in public and sectoral issues.

This context is a privileged opportunity to look at the way the perception of elites regarding inequality unfolds, particularly in regions like Latinamerica, tipically marked by strong socioeconomic disparities. To reach this goal we will analyze public allocutions and the content of dissertations given in the cited bussinesmen organizations on which the researcher took part from 2015 to present times. With this work, we pretend to make a contribution to the discussion in the session taking into account that local expressions of elites in different countries are key to understanding changes that exceed national borders.