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Moving home: The everyday making of the Chilean middle class.

Ariztia Larrain, Tomas (2009) Moving home: The everyday making of the Chilean middle class. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis studies how middle-class cultures are assembled in contemporary Chile, by looking at a group of lower-middle-class families who move to new houses in the suburbs, focusing in particular on the role of home and home possessions, place of residence and housing markets in the production of people's social and spatial positions. Class is broadly understood here as a process that happens within people's experience. It is understood, thus, more as an outcome of actors' production than as a pre-existing category. By taking this standpoint, this thesis draws on a rather heterogeneous set of theoretical frameworks for exploring the different set of mediations -places, discourses and materialities- that assemble the ordinary experience of class. The thesis is based on seven months of fieldwork (2005-2006) in Los Pinos, a new real estate development in Santiago, Chile. The fieldwork is a case study and does not claim any generalisation; notwithstanding, the field site was chosen as embodying -in terms of both the place and its inhabitants- what has been recently described as the "emergent" contemporary middle classes, which have emerged with the neoliberal reforms of the last 30 years. Specifically, the research aimed to grasp families' experiences of buying, moving into and settling into their new house. Against this backdrop, the thesis focused on three interrelated stages: first, the design, production and purchase of houses; second, the material culture of the new home; and third, neighbouring practices and the production of Los Pinos as a middle-class residential area. Analysing this process of social and spatial mobility, it empirically traces how actors live and perform class and how, in doing so, they produce particular cultures of inequality.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Social Structure and Development, Latin American Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Sociology

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