Why you shouldn’t get too excited about Brazil’s new middle class

Bolívar Lamounier is presently director of Augurium, a São Paulo based political risk consultancy. He graduated in Sociology and Political Sciences at the UFMG (1964) and holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (1974). He was among other things member of the commission in charge of drafting Brazil’s constitution in 1985;  a member of COPS (Conselho de Orientação Política e Social) of FIESP, the Federation of Industries of São Paulo State, from 1989 a 2001; a program coordinator on constitutional reform at the University of São Paulo in 1992-1993, and chairman of CESOP (Centro de Estudos de Opinião Pública) at the University of Campinas, from 1993 to 1999. At the moment Professor Lamounier is a member of the Academic Committee of the Club de Madrid, an organization composed of former presidents and prime ministers with the aim of promoting democracy internationally. Mr. Lamounier is also the author of many scientific works and articles. In 1997 he was elected to the Academia Paulista de Letras. His latest book, published in 2010 and coauthored with Amaury de Souza, analysed Brazil’s new middle class and is called “A Classe Média Brasileira: ambições, valores e projetos de sociedade”. Brazil Weekly spoke to Bolívar Lamounier in São Paulo.

Professor Lamounier, thank you for talking to Brazil Weekly. Why did you decide to write a book about Brazil’s middle classes? Well, of course we were concerned with the issue of sustainability of this new class. When the debate about it came up, my colleague Amaury de Souza and I felt that there was too much enthusiasm. That is why we decided to address the issue of sustainability. If you think about a new middle class, in fact it is about upward social mobility that we are talking, especially in Brazil, a country without clearly marked class lines, by European standards at any rate. Continue reading “Why you shouldn’t get too excited about Brazil’s new middle class”