Dados vol. 58 n. 1 Rio de Janeiro jan./mar. 2015

Who is Middle Class in Brazil? A Study on Class Identities

Salata, André Ricardo


This article seeks to contribute to the current debate on the middle class in Brazil, focusing on class identity and the perception of Brazilian concerning the middle class. In the last decade thousands have ascended tom mid-range income levels and became part of the middle layer of the population. However, the assumption is that these individuals are not those who typically identify with this class. To test it, descriptive statistics and multivariate models were applied to data from the “Pesquisa sobre Classe Média” (Cesop/Unicamp, 2008). The results achieved show that the individuals whose socioeconomic profile fall in the middle are not those who usually perceive themselves as middle class. In fact, a higher likelihood of identification with the middle class can only be verified among the more privileged. Furthermore, it also becomes evident that the image of the middle class constructed in Brazil applies to wealthier strata pf the population rather than intermediary ones.

Keywords: middle class, class identity, social stratification, social inequality, perceptions

DOI: 10.1590/00115258201540

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Who is Middle Class in Brazil? A Study on Class Identities