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Title: Elites and politics : who governs us? : measuring and comparing species of capital in the Chilean political elite, 1990-2010
Author: Garrido-Vergara, Luis Abelardo
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 940X
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2019
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In this study, the Bourdieusian concepts of species of capital and habitus are applied to the field of elites. Although sociological research has examined the reproduction of Chile's elites, there is little empirical evidence as to how different forms of capital operate within them. Based on a survey of the country's elites, this thesis examines the effect of different forms of capital (cultural, social and political) on access to strategic positions in the legislative and executive branches of government. It focuses on the political elite in the 20 years between 1990, when military dictator Augusto Pinochet handed over the presidency to Patricio Aylwin, his democratically elected successor, and 2010, the end of President Michelle Bachelet's first government. At least three points are germane to this analysis: (1) understanding the nature of the party elites during the political transition; (2) describing and explaining the main aspects of the party elites' background and social resources, including their family networks (independent variables); and (3) exploring the effect of those variables on individuals' chances of achieving strategic positions in the political field, comparing the legislative and executive branches as represented by deputies and ministers (dependent variable). The data was obtained through a survey of 386 members of the nucleus of the Chilean political elite, enquiring about their social, academic and family background, social resources and professional and political careers, among other topics. The empirical analysis includes network analysis of family capital and six logit models for three periods: 1990-2000, 2000-2010 and 1990-2010. The results indicate that age, gender and variables related to cultural, social and political capital are relevant for becoming both a deputy and a minister, but with opposite effects. Only family capital has a significant effect in the same direction for the two branches of government. However, the effects of the variables vary when differentiating by period. The originality of the research lies in the collection and analysis of new empirical data that throws light on a subject of longstanding speculation.
Supervisor: Lehmann, David Sponsor: FONDECYT project
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: species of capital ; political elites ; parliament ; ministers ; Chile