Current Institutional Affiliation
Professor, History, Universidad Nacional de La Plata

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2002
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, State University of New York (SUNY) / Stony Brook University
"Europe in the River Plate": Everyday Life, Public Sphere and Race in the Making of the Middle Class in Argentina, 1920-1960

My dissertation will analyze the making of the middle class in Argentina between 1920-1960, weaving social structure with agency and representations, as well as local configurations with transnational circulation of commodities and discourses. Suggesting a strong "constructionist'' hypothesis, a clear notion of the middle class as a distinctive social and political actor did not appear until the rise Peronism. During those years, I will argue, the middle class was constructed upon two main principles of difference: one opposing them to the bourgeoisie, mainly articulated through the binary opposition people/oligarchy; the other opposing them to the working class, mainly articulated through racial categories. I will analyze those social constructions as they were forged within contested processes of identification heighten by the emergence of a strong populist movement. In order to fully understand those systems of representations, I will also seek their "social genesis", analyzing the experiences, practices and discourses of middle-class people in everyday life and within the public sphere.