The panel features qualitative research on social, cultural and political praxes and narratives among social elites in Latin America, fostering innovative approaches and promoting new ways of understanding inequality, inclusion and exclusion through the study of the privileged in Latin America.
Qualitative research on the traditional socio-economically privileged sectors of Latin American societies - including the traditional urban upper and upper middle classes - and their subjectivities, worldviews, and cultural and political praxes is still scarce, while the emerging or new middle and upper classes have received more attention. Existing research on these privileged groups is often antagonistic, essentialist or simplistic. This gap is significant, not least because the upper and upper-middle classes define core sites of societal change, such as the higher education, business, NGO, cultural and government sectors. The proposed panel addresses this research gap by convening scholars with an interest in social, cultural and political praxes and narratives among the socio-economically advantaged in Latin American societies, with a view to fostering innovative approaches and new ways of understanding inclusion, exclusion, citizenship, and identity in Latin America from a range of disciplinary perspectives. Existing research on these sectors leaves us with a very limited understanding of their contributions to and roles in processes of social and political change, which have mainly been studied in relation to marginalised groups of society. The panel features qualitative accounts of traditional urban upper-class political and cultural narratives and practices, including, but not limited to, culture (music) and citizenship. Departing from the assumption that subjectivities, discourses and praxes are locally specific in a globalized context, we aim to attract scholars with a variety of regional foci in order to better understand both differences and similarities between these social sectors in the different contexts within the region.