Tener la asignación : las tramas de apropiación colectiva de una política social en la vida cotidiana de familias de sectores populares


Chávez Molina, Eduardo
Perelmiter, Luisina

Temporal Coverage

Octubre del 2016 a febrero del 2018




244 p.


Atribución-NoComercial-SinDerivadas 2.0 Genérica (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)




Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires (autonomus city)
Lanús (inhabited place)


The verb ‘‘to have’’, used in relation to a social policy, is a very common expression among recipients of various social programs. But what do you have when you have a social policy? It is common in representations of common sense that different formats of social policies -especially frequent ones that transfer money- are homogenized under the term social plan. The core of popular criticism is usually the idea that the people who receive them intend to live off the State and, therefore, from the society that does work and contribute. The specialized literature also highlights the rotation of the recipients, from social plan to social plan, over time, thus blurring the particularities that social policies, social interventions or resources may have. These are common places from which we usually reflect. Through these evaluations, we are not very close to understanding what happens from the moment a social policy is in the hands of its holders, we do not warn about the complexity of ‘‘having’’ a social policy.

In this thesis we propose to reconstruct that moment of appropriation in the case of a specific social policy, Asignación Universal por Hijo para Protección Social, which has an intrinsic ambiguity: it distances itself from the paradigm of Conditional Cash Transfers to enroll in the field of Social Security; but, however, it is not symmetrically comparable to its equivalent, Asignación Familiar, coming from formal work. Hence, the ways in which this policy is appropriate in the lives of families is somewhat enigmatic. The thesis deals with the moment in which this social policy anchors in the daily life of its owners and their families, including in that daily life the street bureaucracies involved in its implementation and other local, state and non-state institutions that serve as support in contexts of strong social fragility. What does ‘‘having la asignación’’ mean for families in the popular sectors? What transformations of meaning continue to occur once the resource has reached its destination and then it is ‘‘already there’’? Why doesn't the path end there? How does it run in the daily life of the families that are its recipients and with what dimensions is it interwoven?

To answer these questions, in the thesis we define as collective appropriation the idea that a social policy a social policy becomes a component of a larger relational framework, made up of different types of state ties, by encounters and movements in the near environment, by proximity networks that provide support, for experiences oriented by gender and for resources that are sought and deployed in an effort to survive in contexts of great fragility. We propose to disaggregate this notion into four collective plots: i) the social protection plot, which focuses on the intersections that exist between the AUH and other very diverse social policies; ii) the situational plot, which shows the way in which AUH runs through different places, both through anticipated and unforeseen scenarios, and unleashes interactions; iii) the gender plot, which allows us to see that the practices and experiences that men and women have around this social policy are different and intermingled with gender roles; and iv) the material plot, which explores how AUH money is deployed in the midst of other practices that aim to face contexts of strong inequality and are part of the routines of using money in households, officiating as support in social areas of deep uncertainty.

The category of collective appropriation is ordering: threads - within these four plots – the small, the fragmentary and the anecdotal that, in relation to a social policy, takes place daily. It is a category that captures the capillary embedding of social policy in the daily life of families in the popular sectors and that does not distinguish a link between the recipients and social policy that can be cut linearly; the relational framework of which social policy is part is compact.

To account for the collective appropriation schemes of the AUH, we carried out an extensive field work of a qualitative nature, over eight months distributed between October 2016 and February 2018. It took place in a Buenos Aires neighborhood located in the south of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires and in a neighborhood located in the town of Lanús, in the first cordon of the Buenos Aires suburbs of the Province of Buenos Aires. It was focused on in-depth interviews both with people from the AUH as well as with actors close to families - neighborhood leaders, professionals from health centers, schools and social services, and ANSES operators -, and ethnographic observations - held in community canteens, local social services, offices and ANSES operations. The methodological strategy aimed to define and elaborate the major relational framework from which we understand the functioning of the AUH.

Table Of Contents


1. La apropiación colectiva
2. Las tramas de apropiación colectiva: nuestra matriz
3. Campos de discusión y diálogo
4. Puntos de partida teórico-metodológicos
5. Consideraciones metodológicas
6. La estructura de la tesis

Capítulo 1. La Asignación Universal por Hijo: hacia una caracterización general
1. Introducción
2. Aspectos formales
3. Aspectos conceptuales
3.1 AUH y Transferencias Monetarias Condicionadas
3.2 AUH y seguridad social
4. Conclusión

Capítulo 2. La trama de protección social
1. Introducción
2. Diferentes modos de intervención estatal
2.1 El recorrido por los servicios sociales
2.2 Una política social al interior de las oficinas de ANSES
3. Los cruces
3.1 El solapamiento con la asistencia social
3.2 El empalme con la Asignación Familiar
4. Conclusión

Capítulo 3. La trama situacional
1. Introducción
2. Mirar la trama situacional
3. Los actores
4. Los escenarios
5. Los encuentros cara a cara
5.1 Encuentros resignificados
5.2 Encuentros que se transformaron en regulares
6. Conclusión

Capítulo 4. La trama de género
1. Introducción
2. Los convidados de piedra
2.1 Como pareja de la titular
2.2 Como titular
3. Las hacedoras legítimas y las observadas
3.1 Lo doméstico
3.2 La maternidad
3.3 Los adjetivos que juzgan
4. Conclusión

Capítulo 5. La trama material
1. Introducción
2. Dinero con múltiples significados
3. Dinero enraizado
3.1 Los trabajos informales
3.2 Las otras coberturas sociales
3.3 La familia ampliada
3.4 Los ‘‘rebusques’’
4. El consumo seguro
4.1 Cuando está la AUH
4.2 Cuando falta la AUH
5 Conclusión

Conclusiones generales

Páginas web de programas sociales, instituciones y municipios
Fuentes documentales
Artículos periodísticos

Anexo 1. Cuestiones metodológicas
Anexo 2. Formularios, normativa, cuadros

Título obtenido

Doctora de la Universidad de Buenos Aires en Ciencias Sociales

Institución otorgante

Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Sociales

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