For many years social studies classified the mobilization of the unemployed as a highly
unlikely phenomenon; it was argued that the loss of jobs generates individual apathy,
resignation and impotence. In the last twenty years, this conclusion has been the object
of substantial revision. The reason is well known: the rebellion of the unemployed has
become a reality in many countries, as it was the case in Argentina in recent years.
This unexpected development had roots in the specific development of the country’s
economy and society in the post-World War Two era. In the context of the neoliberal
reforms in the 1990s, and their aftermath, the emergence of this movement had
tremendous consequences for social equality, even today. This paper presents the
specific factors which gave rise to this movement, its peak, and subsequent decline.
Throughout, the focus is on the consequence for inequality among workers and in
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