Main menu

Audio: Latin America's New Middle Class

WNYC's The Takeaway

December 03, 2012

As you may have noticed during the recent presidential campaign, the United States is obsessed with the notion of the American middle class. It is a trope in our politics, in our sitcoms, and in our literature.

But how do we define the middle class? Is it just about income, or is it about security? Education? A certain cultural attitude? And how do we have to rethink that definition if we extend this conversation to other parts of the world?

There is a middle class emerging in Latin America — far south of the white picket fences and the syndicated episodes of "Leave It To Beaver." Recently Americas Quarterly devoted an entire issue to this subject. But who is this middle class? What do they want? And what will this group mean for the world market?

Answering these questions, and more, are Christopher Sabatini, editor-in-chief of Americas Quarterly, and Jamele Rigolini, senior economist at the World Bank.

Listen to a podcast of the conversation: