The Social Aspects in ChileThe meaning of the word Chile isthe land where the earth ends .Chile is one of the longest countriesin the world; it has a longitude ofaround 2, 650 miles (4, 265kilometers).The capital city is Santiago.
Population: (Demographics of Chile- Wikipedia)• According to the 2010 revision of the WorldPopulation Prospects the total population was17, 114, 000 in 2010.• Major ethnic: European and Mestizo 95.4%• Minor ethnic: Mapuche 4%, other indigenousgroups 0.6% (2002 census)
Chile is a multiethnic society• The majority of Chileans (around 65 %) are ofmixed European-indigenous descent "mestizos".• Around 25 % of Chileans are of Europeanancestry (mainly fromSpanish, German, Italian, British, Croatian, andFrench origins)• Chile also has a large Palestinian community(around 300, 000 persons)• The Mapuche Indians constitute the country’slargest Native American population (around500,00 in Chile)
Ethnic Relations• Ethnic differences in Chile are not expressed in terms ofskin color; rather, ethnic differences in Chile take the formof facial appearances, hair and eye color, body length, andfamily names.• Chileans prefer not to talk about their cultural roots andvery often do not even know their ancestral tree , theyconsider themselves to possess Spanish backgrounds.• However, Mapuche Indians are socially and economicallysegregated in Chile.• Chileans of Mapuche backgrounds usually work in poorlypaid jobs with little or no Prestige.• Mapuches’ reaction is directed against the nationalauthorities.
Culture• The official language is Spanish.• There are no recognizable regional accentsand this reflects the existing culturalhomogeneity.
Social Stratification: Classes and Castes• Class and not color.• Most Chileans constantly think and act interms of traditional class divisions (largelyexpressed as lower, middle, and upper).• The Chilean educational system is primarilymeritocractic-oriented. For instance, entranceto university is based on the points obtainedat a single national academic test.
Social Stratification: Classes and Castes• Getting an academic degree or even a good job doesnot automatically guarantee social acceptance amongthe middle and upper classes.• People from lower-class origins who have made moneyand live in middle- or upper-class neighborhoods. Theyare often disdainfully called rotos con plata ("vulgarpeople with money").• Generally, most Chileans of European = upper andmiddle classes, while most Chileans of mestizo andindigenous backgrounds = the lower classes.
Symbols of Social Stratification• The strong spatial segregation existing inlarge Chilean cities.• Upper, middle, and lower classes live largelyisolated from each other in quite distinctiveneighborhoods and city sectors
Symbols of Social Stratification• Primary and secondary schools express socialstratification.• Chileans automatically categorize a personsocially based only on the comuna (municipaldivision within the city) where the person livesand the name of the school he or she hasattended.
Symbols of Social Stratification• Speech and accent are other importantmarkers of social stratification.• Upper-class Chileans exaggerate theirparticular way of speaking to indicate theirsocial predominance.• Lower-class Chileans speak in a veryidiosyncratic way.