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Revista de Estudios Sociales

Print version ISSN 0123-885X


LOPEZ, Ricardo. We are also Part of the People: Gaitanismo, White-Collar Workers and the Historical Formation of the Middle-Class in Bogotá, 1936-1948. rev.estud.soc. [online]. 2011, n.41, pp.84-105. ISSN 0123-885X.

Although gaitanismo has been one of the most intensively discussed topics in Colombian history, there are few studies that historicize the formation of middle class identities during the 1930s and 1940s. Moreover, most studies about populism in Latin America have left us with few analytical tools to understand middle-class experiences, precisely because these analyses assume a sociological opposition between "the people" (el pueblo) and "the oligarquía" as a foundational feature of populist practices. The main goal of this essay is to explore how certain white-collar workers mobilized discourses, ideas, and practices of populism as a powerful mode of persuasion and identification to constantly redefine, on the one hand, their political identities as middle class men and, on the other, their place as part of the pueblo gaitanista. By looking at recently uncovered historical documents, the essay rethinks the making of a gendered middle class and its political role in the consolidation of populist practices during the 1930s and 1940s in Colombia.

Keywords : Populism; Middle Class; Social Classes; Gender Identities; Colombia; 20th Century.

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