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Chouhy, Gabriel (2013) CLASS, CONSUMPTION, AND LIFESTYLES IN URUGUAY. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The advance of neoliberalism in the last quarter of the twentieth century transformed the material culture of Latin American societies. Consumerism became a prominent means of expressing and realizing citizen’s rights and freedoms. As the commodification of material life gains importance, the patterns of class differentiation are expected to revolve, increasingly, around consumption. In this thesis, I examine the classic sociological proposition that consumption plays a fundamental role in the making of differentiating lifestyles, and that such lifestyles delimit and reinforce social class cleavages. From this perspective, I study the statistical relations between social structure and consumption, determining the extent to which class differences account for variation in a set of consumption patterns inferred from the National Survey of Household Expenditures and Incomes conducted in Uruguay in 2005/2006. I pick a set of food and non-food items and use Multiple Correspondence Analysis to assess how the acquisition of specific goods and services cluster along different dimensions and thus reveal different consumption patterns. For food consumption, I identify a first dimension expressing the distinction between a diversified and good quality diet, and a restricted and lower quality diet. A second dimension revolves around the acquisition of calorific and “filling” food. For non-food consumption, the first principal dimension makes the difference between the possession or not of omnivorous tastes / positional goods, while the second dimension distinguishes between the quest for an aesthetic / outward oriented lifestyle and a comfort-seeking / inward oriented lifestyle. To test class effects on these consumption patterns, I fit a set of linear regression models, using the predicted scores derived from MCA as dependent variables. I confirm that 1) there is an overall class effect on consumption patterns, 2) both income and education mediate such an effect, and 3) there is a specific class effect on consumption that is not reducible to the effect of purchasing power and educational attainment.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Chouhy, Gabrielgac27@pitt.eduGAC27
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMarkoff, Johnjm2@pitt.eduJM2
Committee MemberBrush, Lisa D.lbrush@pitt.eduLBRUSH
Committee MemberHughes, Melaniehughesm@pitt.eduHUGHESM
Date: 18 October 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 18 December 2012
Approval Date: 18 October 2013
Submission Date: 15 March 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 88
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Sociology
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: consumption class lifestyles neoliberalism Latin America
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2013 19:58
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:11

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