Changing Articulations of Class and Ethnicity: A Villa Miseria in Buenos Aires
This essay explores in a socioeconomic crisis context whether the forms of articulating and disarticulating class and ethnicity in popular neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires have changed. During the 90s, amidst increasing unemployment and social exclusion, and coupled with very few possibilities for organising or political mobilisation, social processes tended to lead to the fracturing of groups and their demands. In lower class neighbourhoods, with a strong presence of immigrants from Bolivia and Paraguay, the scarcity of resources and the daily struggles for access to them was increasingly tied to xenophobic attitudes and actions. The flipside of these processes of ethnic segregation was the sustained growth of border-immigrant organisations, their festivals, their presence on low frequency radio stations, their football leagues, and other similar activities and networks. As the context changed, it was also necessary to ask whether dynamics of differentiation, which involved the culturalisation of the popular sectors’ demands, had been accentuated, or whether a new situation had developed. The research presented aims find out whether the main identifying categories, and the signifiers to which people refer when they form groups to participate in the political arena, have changed.
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