Cristobal Villalobos

Cristobal Villalobos has a Phd in Social Sciences at the Universidad de Chile, Chile. He has a master’s degree in Applied Economics from Alberto Hurtado University and Georgetown University. Sociologist and Social Worker from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile. Currently, he is an Associate Researcher at the Center for the Study of Policies and Practices in Education (CEPPE UC) of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. His research lines include educational inequality, elite education, citizenship education, social movements in education and higher education, with emphasis on Chile and Latin America.


Selected publications

2021. (with Reininger, T., Muñoz-Arce, G.). Possibilities for new social work professional resistance in Chile: times of social change? Critical and Radical Social Work, 1-16.

2021 (with Treviño, E., Miranda, C., Hernández, M.). Clase social y estrategias parentales de apoyo en pandemia. Resultados del International COVID-19 Impact on Parental Engagement Study en Chile. Revista Iberoamericana de Educación 88(1), 117-133.

2020 (with Quaresma, M.L. & Franetovic, G.). Mapeando a la élite en las universidades chilenas. Un análisis cuantitativo-multidimensional. Revista Española de Sociología, 29(3), 523-541.

2020 (with Parcerisa, L.). Movimientos sociales y resistencia al accountability en Chile: estrategias discursivas, identidad y acciones de la campaña Alto al SIMCE. Revista Izquierdas, 49(1), 2427-2455.

2019 (with Asún, R., Yañez-Lagos, Zúñiga-Rivas, C.). Cómo investigan las Ciencias Sociales temas de alta contingencia política. El caso del movimiento estudiantil chileno. Cinta de Moebio, 65, 235-253.

2019 (with Quaresma, M.L.). Interviewing elites in the educational field. En Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190264093.013.502

2018 (with Quaresma, M.L.). La (re) producción de las élites en tiempos de democratización del sistema universitario. Análisis conceptual a partir de las experiencias latinoamericanas. Ciencias Sociales y Educación, 7(13), 65-87.

2018 (with Treviño, E., Béjares, C. & Naranjo, E.). Forms of youth political participation and educational system. The role of the school for 8th grade in Chile. Young, 27(3), 1-25.

2017 (with Treviño, E., Wyman, I., & Scheele, J.). Social justice debate and college access in Latin America: merit or need? The role of educational institutions and states in broadening access to higher education in the region. Analytic Archive in Educational Policy, 25(73), 1-31.

2017 (with Treviño, E., Béjares, C. y Naranjo, E.). Building Citizenship in the Schools of Chile, Colombia and Mexico: The Role of Teacher’s Practices and Attitudes. En García-Cabrero, B., Sandoval-Hernández, A., Treviño, E., Diazgrandos-Ferrand, S. y Perez, G. (Eds.). Civics and Citizenship. Theoretical Models and Experiences in Latin America. Rotterdam/Boston/Taipei: Sense Publisher, 105-128.


Research Project as CALAS fellow:

Title: MBAs as incubators for the economic elite. Understanding the role of educational spaces in the development of the economic elites of Latin America

Abstract: In the last three decades, various Latin American countries have experienced a constant process of massification of higher education. Thus, in Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Brazil there has been (through different channels and different mechanisms) a period of expansion of tertiary enrollment, generating what Trow (1972) called the process of universalization of the higher education system. In general, these processes have allowed a social diversification of the student body, but they have also promoted the configuration of new inequalities (Villalobos et al., 2017), generating gradual changes in the ways in which political, social, and economic power is produced and reproduced.

In this scenario, the educational system plays a fundamental role in the process of validation, certification, and re-production of positions in the social structure, being especially important for the elites. Although the literature in Latin America is growing and increasingly extensive (Quaresma and Villalobos, 2018), most of the research that has studied the role of education in elite formation has focused on certain schools or universities (Zimmerman, 2019; Ziegler, 2017; Atria et al., 2020; Villalobos, Quaresma and Franetovic, 2020) without studying in depth the role that obtaining certain specific postgraduate degrees could have in the production and production of power and elite position.

Considering this, the present research seeks to analyze the role that MBAs (Master of Business Administration) would have in the production and reproduction of economic elites in Latin America. The main working hypothesis is that this specific type of training is a space that allows the reproduction of elites through three channels: (i) formal, which involve the delivery of certain tools, knowledge and the accreditation of certain knowledge, as well as certain critical "soft skills" for the economic elite; (ii) cultural, through the promotion and imposition of a certain spirit de corps, the valuation of certain ideologies and the construction of a way of acting (a praxis) to be implemented in the elite economic position and; (iii) social, through the development of personal, business and contact networks that will allow the production and reproduction of the economic elite. The specific objectives of the investigation will be:

  1. To describe the MBA profile of excellence in Latin America, giving an account of its institutional characteristics, admission criteria, graduation profile, teaching forms, social and business networks, explicit and implicit objectives, etc.
  2. To analyze the institutional discourse developed by these three MBA of excellence in Latin America around the objectives, values, ideologies and discourses, with an emphasis on understanding how they visualize the processes of economic inequality in Latin America.
  3. To study how students and / or graduates of these MBA view the training process, especially studying to what extent this process allowed them to access the economic elite of their countries, both in formal and informal terms.