Middle Class and Democracy in Latin America
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The consolidation of the middle class has been interpreted by modernization and postmodernization theories as a key factor for the functioning and stability of the democratic system. However, in Latin America the middle class has tended to be associated with two contradictory positions. On the one hand, it is emphasized that it plays a stabilizing and democratic role while, on the other hand, it is linked to supporting military coups. With the purpose of elucidate such a dilemma, the relationship that can be established between the socioeconomic status and the degree of support for democracy will be examined. In order to do this, an empirical analysis from Latinbarometer surveys databases will be conducted, covering seventeen countries in the region for the period from 1996 to 2011. It will be concluded that the middle class in Latin America does not have particularly more favorable attitudes toward democracy than other social segments.
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