The Brazilian Middle Classes: Who Are They? How Extensive Are They? How Have They Evolved?

Adalberto Cardoso Edmond Préteceille About the authors


The following article aims to address the extent to which improvements in the quality of life in Brazil from 2002 to 2014 resulted from shifts in the structure of workers’ roles in the social division of labor, and whether or not Brazil became a country of middle classes in the process. To do so, national and international literature on middle classes is examined, as is the debate on the “new middle class”. An innovative sociological alternative for shaping the class structure based on the French socio-professional classification system is suggested, while an empirical study is used to demonstrate the evolution of this structure. The article concludes that the middle classes grew significantly during the period, however Brazil is far from constituting a “country of middle classes”.

middle classes; Brazil; France; class structures; social stratification

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