Matteo Battistini

Middle-class Revolution: The American Middle Class as an Ideological Category of Modernization Theory

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Adopting an intellectual history viewpoint, this essay considers how US social sciences faced the crisis of the middle class during the Great Depression by building up an ideological category that in the Fifties and Sixties would become the basis for modernization theory and shape the US foreign policy toward Latin America. The middle class became a political and cultural weapon that the US employed to win the Cold War in the name of democracy. At the same time, however, its use highlighted the limits and contradictions of a policy of modernization that subordinated democracy to economic, national security and imperial considerations


  • Middle Class
  • Social Sciences
  • Modernization
  • Alliance for Progress
  • United States
  • Latin America


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