Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationEmory U.
Grant numberGr. 9490
Approve DateApril 27, 2017
Project TitleKauko, Sara K., Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'Coloring Across Class Lines: Socioeconomic Mobility and Changing Subjectivities among Mestizos in Provincial Argentina,' supervised by Dr. Bradd Shore
SARA KAUKO, then a graduate student at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, was awarded funding in April 2017 to aid research on ‘Coloring Across Class Lines: Socioeconomic Mobility and Changing Subjectivities among Mestizos in Provincial Argentina,’ supervised by Dr. Bradd Shore. This project examines the intersections between middle-classness, social status, and race in a poor, North-Argentine city called Santiago del Estero. The research concerns Santiago’s mixed-race criollos and the recent changes in their social and economic standing. It asks: how does economic and social success shape marginalized populations’ social status, sense of self, and their racial and class identities? In Argentina, Santiago is considered the country’ backwardly hinterland. Unlike in the economic and cultural centers in the country where the majority of population are white, often of European origin, most inhabitants in Santiago are dark-skinned criollos: a mix of indigenous peoples, early Spanish colonizers, and European and Arab immigrants. Historically, they have resided in the society’s margins, with little chance to climb up in the local social and economic ladder. In 2005, Santiago economy started booming. Federal loans and private investments started arriving in the city, leading to improvements in infrastructure, education, and public services. The socioeconomic growth also involved criollos, who began to experience economic success and finally gain access to the local social field of class and status mobility. Within this context, this project investigates how social and economic success reconfigures local understandings of race and class and challenges historic lines of ethno-racial inclusion and exclusion.