Katrin Hansing / Bert Hoffmann

Cuba's New Social Structure: Assessing the Re-Stratification of Cuban Society 60 Years after Revolution

GIGA Working Papers | 2019


  • Series

    GIGA Working Papers

    Series Number

    315

    Number of Pages

    31

    Publisher

    German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA)

    Location

    Hamburg

    Abstract

    Few political transformations have attacked social inequalities more thoroughly than the 1959 Cuban Revolution. However, as the survey data in this paper shows, 60 years on, structural inequalities which echo the pre-revolutionary socio-ethnic hierarchies are returning. While official Cuban statistics are mute about social differences along racial lines, the authors were able to conduct a unique, nationwide survey which shows the contrary. If the revolutionary, state-run economy and radical social policies were the main social elevators for the formerly underprivileged classes in socialist Cuba, the economic crisis and depressed wages of the past decades have seriously undercut these achievements. Moreover, previously racialised migration patterns have produced highly unequal levels of access to family remittances, and the gradual opening of the private business sector in Cuba has largely disfavoured Afro-Cubans, due to their lack of access to pre-revolutionary property and remittances in the form of start-up capital. While social and racial inequalities have not yet reached the levels of other Latin American countries, behind the face of socialist continuity a profound restructuring of Cuban society is taking place.

    Prof. Dr. Katrin Hansing

    Formerly Associate

    katrin.hansing@giga-hamburg.de

    Prof. Dr. Bert Hoffmann

    Lead Research Fellow / Head GIGA Berlin Office Editor GIGA Focus Latin America

    bert.hoffmann@giga-hamburg.de

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    When Racial Inequalities Return: Assessing the Restratification of Cuban Society 60 Years After Revolution

    Prof. Dr. Katrin Hansing

    Formerly Associate

    Prof. Dr. Bert Hoffmann

    Lead Research Fellow / Head GIGA Berlin Office Editor GIGA Focus Latin America

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