LINE 1: Concentration of wealth and income: evolution, causes and consequences
Head researcher: Claudia Sanhueza (COES – Centre for Economics and Political Science at the Universidad Mayor)
The objective of this line is to bring together studies and research, national as well as international, that help to understand the phenomena of the top 10%, top 5% and -increasingly so- the top 1% of the wealth, and to identify future research topics in this area. Particularly, studies that shed light on the degree of the concentration of income, wealth and property, and its evolution. Also of interest are studies that explore the causes or mechanisms by which the concentrations are produced, the consequences or outcomes of this phenomenon in economic, social and political terms, and how this relates to diverse public policies (taxes, social security, among others).
LINE 2: Concentration of ownership of media outlets: Why does it matter?
Head researcher: Tomás Undurraga (COES – Universidad Alberto Hurtado)
Assuming that the media outlets generate social reality, the concentration of ownership of the media tends to result in information biases and in the conformation of mini-audiences, deforming the public sphere. This line hopes to convoke original studies and research on the Chilean and international situation.
LINE 3: The Chilean elite: Circulation, ruptures, discontinuities or reproduction?
Head researchers: Cristóbal Rovira (COES – Universidad Diego Portales) and Jorge Atria (COES – Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
The renewal of the establishment and the emergence of new actors, that possess credentials different from those of the traditional political elite, is the focus of this line. What are the breaking points between the old and new elite? How much renovation of elites can be observed, and which have a greater capacity for reproduction? Likewise, it would be interesting to discuss which mechanisms of influence the elite uses and to what extent new tools exist to influence the political process.
LINE 4: Concentrations of political voice
Head researchers: Matías Bargsted (COES – Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile) and Nicolás Somma (COES – Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
There is abundant evidence at the national and international level that access to political voice is not distributed equally and furthermore, certain social groups have privileged access to voting, to demonstrating, to speaking in public. This is the concentration of political participation. What do we know about this? Has it increased over time? How does it vary between countries? What contextual and individual factors explain the possible temporal and transversal variations? If this type of concentration is confirmed, how can political voice be redistributed?
LINE 5: Urban concentration and segregation
Head researchers: María Luisa Méndez (COES – Universidad Diego Portales) and Luis Valenzuela (COES – Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez)
Territorial segregation, its multiple dimensions and eventual spatial implications, needs to be explored in function of how condensed the city space is and how it is divided, according to phenomena of concentration. Topics to be addressed in this line are: the implications for the definition of social identities and bonds, its impact on urban fragmentation, and the financing of the city and the implications for city life.
LINE 6: Domination and hegemony of the masculine models on social bonds
Head researchers: Dariela Sharim (COES – Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile) and Francisco Pino (COES – Universidad de Chile)
The objective of this line is to analyze the causes for the low participation of women in politics, academics, business or other social sectors, as well as the distinct ways in which masculinity, as a model, reproduces the domination in diverse spaces of social life. Work that addresses the domination of gender are of particular interest, whether concerning the predomination of men in certain areas or the vertical relationships and domination in diverse areas, as well as the effect of positive discrimination policies, such as reserved seats or gender quotas in politics.
LINE 7: The domination of diplomas: Concentration of cultural capital
Head researchers: Dante Contreras (COES – Universidad de Chile) and Nicolás Grau (COES – Universidad de Chile)
This line addresses distinct mechanisms that make it possible to concentrate cultural capital in diverse fields and institutions: academia, businesses, politics, literature, sciences, among others. It is of interest to discuss how one or more canons of cultural distinction are defined, if these produce exclusion effects or if they admit for the incorporation of broader social groups, for example, such as the middle class.
LINE 8: Psychosocial factors that explain the concentration and motivation to maintain power
Head researcher: Gloria Jiménez (COES – Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
The focus of this line is centred on the factors that can be construed as background for the pursuit, concentration and maintenance of social power. This line also considers the social, or other, outcomes that lead to retaining power, such as the increase in stereotypes or the preference for a stratified society. Belonging to a socially advantageous group, education level, religion, social experiences, gender, personality and temperament differences, are some of the factors that have proved to be relevant for the desire to obtain and maintain power.