Dissertation Abstracts

Between merit and guilt: Perception of inequality and legitimation of social policy in Mexico.

Author: Jaramillo Molina, Máximo E, majm34@gmail.com
Department: Centro de Estudios Sociológicos
University: El Colegio de México, Mexico
Year of completion: In progress
Language of dissertation: Spanish

Keywords: Inequality , Legitimation , Social Policy , Perception
Areas of Research: Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy , Social Psychology , Social Indicators


The perception and legitimation of social justice model is an issue that increasingly becomes more important in the current context, where social inequalities persist (or are exacerbated) and the economic model is maintained despite the continuing economic crises suffered in last years.

Despite this, the study of these issues in Latin America has only been concentrated in some countries like Chile, Argentina and Brazil (mainly), largely due to the limited availability of related data in the region.

In this research, the Mexican case is analyzed, based on almost no research on the subject held in this country and the following questions: How and why high economic inequality in Mexico is tolerated? How are the perceptions of the need for greater redistribution by the state?

The methodology includes National Poverty Survey of Mexico (that addresses issues of perception of inequality, poverty and social policy) analysis. From this, and based on previous work, an ideal typing of individual representation of the social justice model emerges: Individualistic, fatalistic and structural. Then it delves into the differences between individuals that may be associated with these representations of the social justice model.

Finally, an exploratory analysis of the results of interviews conducted in Mexico City is made, which seek to delve into how people perceive and tolerate (or not) inequality, and its relation to demand (or not) more redistribution. It is as a result of this, which reflects on processes of recognition of rights, incorporation of different moral orders and stigmatization of social groups, as well as the construction of representations on merit and guilt.

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