The polarization of class and space in the contemporary Latin American city

Alejandro Portes, Michael Johns

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The basic contours of urbanization as it occurs in the periphery of the world economy have changed little in the 1980s. Beginning around 1980 the paradox of capital’s uneven development emerged once again, but severing the flow of the foreign capital on which Latin America so urgently depended for its economic development. In Latin America, economic conditions deteriorated to a level comparable only with that following the 1929 depression. The export of materials, which underwent little processing in the countries of origin, coupled with the import of capital and consumer goods from the centers, severely circumscribed multiplier effects in the incipient capitalist economies. Economists believed that the criminal activities were interstitial and destined to disappear with the advance of industrialization. The existence of remunerative opportunities in the informal economy also helps explain a second relevant finding, namely the number of formal workers who voluntarily abandon their protected employment in order to become informal artisans and entrepreneurs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLost Promises
Subtitle of host publicationDebt, Austerity, and Development in Latin America
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9780429698378
ISBN (Print)0813305527, 9780367005474
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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