Herramientas Personales
Usted está aquí: Inicio Acerca del CLAD Publicaciones Revista del CLAD Reforma y Democracia Artículos por número publicado 002, Julio 1994 Middle class, social networks and the neo-liberal model. The case of Chilean teachers (1973-1988)

Middle class, social networks and the neo-liberal model. The case of Chilean teachers (1973-1988)

Larissa Adler Lomnits & Ana Melnick

The results of a study on the impact of the neo-liberal model on Chile from 1973-1988, particularly on elementary and high-school teachers, are presented. Middle class is determined by economic, social and symbolic features, and the adverse effects on these features during the above-mentioned period are pointed out.

Social indebtedness in Latin American states, as a result of structural adjustment programs, was paid not only by the poorest sectors, but by the middle class, whose real salary, purchasing power, and ability to preserve and find a job were dramatically undermined.

This study takes a group of Chilean elementary and high-school teachers as a reference to explore the impact of the neo-liberal model on middle-class sectors. The Chilean case is particularly notorious. As of the 1993 coup, the official ideology focussed on removing the welfare state and imposing fast and early neo-liberal policies, with those people affected unable to reject the move.

Defining middle class is a difficult task, given its heterogenous components. Some basic features include symbolic identification and an economic, social and cultural equity or heritage. Social relations are economically important --the exchange of favors are characteristic in this sector, as well as solidarity to preserve the status.

The typical members of Chilean middle class in 1968 were public servants, a particular kind of employees, or professionals whose access to the state apparatus mostly depended on their political, social, and family links. This relationship among people of the same social level --"compaternity"-- arranges institutional favors in a decreasing order according to social proximity --family, close friends, friends, friends of friends.

With the neo-liberal model, the labor conditions of teachers were impaired by the lack of stability, deteriorating salaries, increased work hours, and a reduction in the power of the guild. As for social resources, the military regime shifted the influence of political parties and middle-class groups of interest, with their network of favors exchange being reduced. With respect to symbolic representation, self-esteem was hit by a declining status.

It should be concluded that the neo-liberal model in Chile under political conditions resulting from the military power adversely affected three essential aspects in teachers' life --labor conditions, social resources, and symbolic representation of the role played in society.

Acciones de Documento

Logo Siare


Logo Redes del CLAD

Logo Asociación CLAD


Revista 74 CLAD
Suscripción Boletín Reforme

Suscribase al Boletí­n Reforme para recibir semanalmente información actualizada sobre temas importantes.

« Febrero 2020 »