version ISSN 0718-6568
FLEET, Nicolas. Student movement and social transformations in Chile: a sociological approach. Polis [online]. 2011, vol.10, n.30, pp. 99-116. ISSN 0718-6568. doi: 10.4067/S0718-65682011000300005.
This essay proposes a sociological interpretation of the current student movement in Chile, regarding their demands in relation to the orientations and interests of the new middle class. Four hypotheses are discussed: first, the claim for public education could be expressive of a legitimacy crisis; second, such crisis corresponds to the expansion and differentiation of the new middle class (regarding the massification of students, professionals and intellectuals in general) in the context of the transformation of the social structure in Chile during the last thirty years; third, the demand for public education is aligned with the exercise of reflexive control on the structural and symbolic basis of the reproduction of this group and; fourth, the critique of the institutionalization of distribution of power through education constitutes the platform to sustain, from part of this group, a potential alternative project of society.
Keywords : student movement; new middle class; intellectuals; professionals; higher education.