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Polis (Santiago)

versión On-line ISSN 0718-6568

Resumen

ARIZTIA, Tomas. Consumption and the middle classes: three sociological. Polis [online]. 2016, vol.15, n.43, pp.435-459. ISSN 0718-6568.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-65682016000100021.

This bibliographic essay examines different ways in which the relation between consumption and middle classes has been thought in sociological analysis. More concretely, the article discusses three main approaches or versions in regards to consumption and middle classes: a) the version in which consumption and middle classes are understood as symbols and results dependent on a process of capitalist modernization; b) the version in which consumption is understood mainly in terms of  the production of symbolic distinctions through which the different fractions of the middle classes build their social identities, and c) the version in which consumption is understood as a resource or mediation through which middle class is being assembled and mobilized by actors either at their ordinary practices and/or through different experts knowledge and devices that perform social collectives such as classes. We link each of these versions to different sociological traditions discussing their presumptions, possibilities and limitations. The article finishes discussing how these three visions relate to different ways of understanding and defining the nature of the social process, thus making visible only some specific aspects and conections between both concepts.

Palabras clave : Consumption; middle classes; theoretical aspects of consumption; performativity.

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