The middle classes in contemporary Brazil as a sociological problem: theories, methodologies and alternatives

Luís Fernando Santos Corrêa da Silva (UFFS)

December 7, 2018, 14h00

Room 2, CES | Alta


One of the main challenges of sociological research in Brazil is to understand how the mechanisms of legitimation of one of the highest levels of social inequality on the planet are symbolically constructed within the middle classes. In order for sociological research on social classes and inequalities in Brazil to succeed, it is essential to break with the supremacy of the debate on the "morphology of the middle class", which tends to favour the classificatory effort and the construction of the profile of its members and to proceed to problematize, in an equivalent measure, the "middle class semantics", that is, the set of symbolic mechanisms that underlie a perception of the world that contributes to the perpetuation of inequalities. The premise is that the middle class is a relevant "sociological problem", either because its presence in the social structure leads to economic, political, symbolic and cultural developments, or because it serves as a "buffer zone of conflicts" in the capitalist social order.

Bio note

Luís Fernando Santos Corrêa da Silva, Ph.D. in Sociology from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul/UFRGS, holds a degree in Social Sciences and a Masters in Sociology from UFRGS. He works as Associate Professor IV of the Federal University of Southern Frontier / UFFS and is currently a Visiting Researcher in Post Doctoral Training at the Centre for Social Studies (CES) of the University of Coimbra/UC. At UFFS, he is a professor of the degree in Social Sciences and also serves as permanent professor of the Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Programme in Human Sciences. He is a researcher in the Research Group on Public Policies, Democracy and Urban Studies/UFFS and the Virtual and Interactive Laboratory of Sociology Teaching (LAVIECS / UFRGS). He has carried out studies and publications in the areas of Social Stratification and Inequalities, Sociology of Labour, Economic Sociology and Sociology Teaching, addressing mainly the following topics: middle class in contemporary Brazil, changes in the world of work, labour market, occupational trajectories, new socio-occupational profiles and Sociology in high school.