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Comparative Political Studies

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DOI: 10.1177/00104140211060282


How does the world of work in Latin America affect the way workers act to defend their interests? To what extent have “productionist” demands, those concerning jobs, work conditions, and wages, which are highly salient across the region, been “displaced” by consumptionist or political demands? While the literature has distinguished formal and informal work grosso modo, we explore individual traits of work, which cross-cut the formal-informal distinction. Analyzing survey data from four Latin American capital cities, we find, not surprisingly, that both work-based atomization and insecurity depress demand making in the work arena. But these traits of work also affect demand making on the state, albeit in somewhat different ways. Insecurity is associated with a shift from productionist to consumptionist and political demands, while atomization is associated with a more generalized demobilization across issues. These findings have implications for the representation of worker interests in light of current labor market restructuring and raise the question if labor can reclaim an important voice in that restructuring process.


Accepted version. Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 55, No. 10 (September 2022): 1631-1662. DOI. © 2022 SAGE Publications. Used with permission.

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