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Kenyon College

Publication Date

Spring 2006

Program Name

Chile: Economic Development and Globalization


Chilean democracy, for more than sixteen years, has been on a steady path of democratic consolidation. A problem that remains, however, is the profound inability of societal actors to affect change within the new democratic framework. Participation in groups of collective action is exceptionally low and the country has suffered a crisis of social capital en the last ten years.

Nowhere is Chilean society is this demobilization more evident than in the labor movement. As a result, this project will be a study of the perceptions of Chilean workers regarding their principle union organization – the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores. This study will utilize sixteen interviews with members of unions associated with the CUT; leaders of the CUT y other union organizations; and workers that claim no union affiliation to construct a broad theory of how and why workers have developed the opinions they have regarding this organization. In the end, we will see that the changes in the Chilean economy that have arrived with the installation of neoliberalism, the changes in the identity of workers that these economic changes imply, together with the close relations between the CUT y political parties are the most important factors in explaining how workers have formulated their opinions regarding the CUT.


Labor Relations


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