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RIBEIRO, Carlos Antonio Costa. Social Mobility and Class Structure in Contemporary Brazil. Sociologias [online]. 2014, vol.16, n.37, pp.178-217. ISSN 1517-4522.

This paper examines class structure and social mobility in Brazil using the most current data available. It is presented the evolution of class structure from the 1970s to 2000, which indicates that if measured in terms of the occupations, there was a gradual decrease in the classes of professionals and skilled manual workers. This change, however, does not mean that Brazilian society has become predominantly comprised by a middle class, as some social scientists have argued. We claim here that information about intergenerational mobility is essential to define the main cleavages of class. Thus, the article describes the pattern of social fluidity in Brazil, which determines both the inequality in opportunities for social mobility and the main points of social closure in Brazilian social structure. The social fluidity in the country is best described by the vertical - or hierarchical - pattern, which implies that the distance between social classes in terms of intergenerational mobility is fundamental. The role played by achieved education in mediating between the origin and destination classes is also presented. The analyzes are mostly based on data from the survey Social Dimensions of Inequality (PDSD-2008), although data from the national survey by household sampling (PNAD) for the years1973, 1982, 1988, and 1996 are also presented.

Palavras-chave : Social mobility; Classes; Social inequality; Social fluidity; Brazil..

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