Chique Distinction in a Big Small Town

  • Timothy Eugene Murphy


The chapter begins with a portrait of Teresina’s dominant sectors, revealing how practices of social distinction are embedded in the urban landscape. The chapter then investigates more closely how residents’ public demonstrations of sophistication interact with the built environment in the construction of an array of sophisticated people and places throughout the city. In the context of a rapidly growing provincial city where aspirations and anxiety around belonging are especially pronounced, to be invested in demonstrations of sophistication is to long for inclusion in the upwardly mobile echelons of Teresina’s society. The chapter argues that establishing a sense of belonging among Teresina’s upwardly mobile residents is not reducible to middle-class membership; it can only be grasped through the nuance of local understandings of social distinction.


Middle class Uncertainty Distinction Upward mobility 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy Eugene Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.Worcester State UniversityWorcesterUSA

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