The Social Life of Economic Inequalities in Contemporary Latin America: Decades of Change

This new publication is open access and can be downloaded for free here.


This edited volume examines how economic processes have worked upon social lives and social realities in Latin America during the past decades. Through tracing the effects of the neoliberal epoch into the era of the so-called pink tide, the book seeks to understand to what extent the turn to the left at the start of the millennium managed to challenge historically constituted configurations of inequality. A central argument in the book is that in spite of economic reforms and social advances on a range of arenas, the fundamental tenants of socio-economic inequalities have not been challenged substantially. As several countries are now experiencing a return to right-wing politics, this collection helps us better understand why inequalities are so entrenched in the Latin American continent, but also the complex and creative ways that it is continuously contested. The book directs itself to students, scholars and anyone interested in Latin America, economic anthropology, political anthropology, left-wing politics, poverty and socio-economic inequalities.

Chapters by Sérgio Costa, Celina Sørbøe, Cecilie Vindal Ødegaard, Astrid Stensrud, Michele De L. Pinto, Marvin Brown, Lirio Gutiérrez Rivera, Pedro Mendes Loureiro, Sian Lazar, Iselin Åsedotter Strønen and Margit Ystanes.

About the editors:

Margit Ystanes is Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen, Norway. She has conducted research in Guatemala since 2000, and in Brazil since 2013. Her current work investigates the use of sporting mega-events as a tool for urban and economic development in Rio de Janeiro.

Iselin Åsedotter Strønen is Associate Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen, Norway, and an affiliated researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CM), Norway. She has conducted ethnographic research in Venezuela since 2005, and more recently, in Brazil and Angola.