Unmaking Race and Ethnicity: A Reader

Posted in Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Barack Obama, Books, Brazil, Campus Life, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Law, Media Archive, Mexico, Religion, Slavery, Social Justice, Social Science, Teaching Resources, United States on 2017-01-30 01:51Z by Steven

Unmaking Race and Ethnicity: A Reader

Oxford University Press
2016-07-20
512 Pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches
Paperback ISBN: 9780190202712

Edited by:

Michael O. Emerson, Provost and Professor of Sociology
North Park University
also Senior Fellow at¬†Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research

Jenifer L. Bratter, Associate Professor of Sociology; Director of the Program for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Culture at the Kinder Institute for Urban Research
Rice University, Houston, Texas

Sergio Ch√°vez, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Rice University, Houston, Texas

Race and ethnicity is a contentious topic that presents complex problems with no easy solutions. (Un)Making Race and Ethnicity: A Reader, edited by Michael O. Emerson, Jenifer L. Bratter, and Sergio Ch√°vez, helps instructors and students connect with primary texts in ways that are informative and interesting, leading to engaging discussions and interactions. With more than thirty collective years of teaching experience and research in race and ethnicity, the editors have chosen selections that will encourage students to think about possible solutions to solving the problem of racial inequality in our society. Featuring global readings throughout, (Un)Making Race and Ethnicity covers both race and ethnicity, demonstrating how they are different and how they are related. It includes a section dedicated to unmaking racial and ethnic orders and explains challenging concepts, terms, and references to enhance student learning.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • UNIT I. Core Concepts and Foundations
    • What Is Race? What Is Ethnicity? What Is the Difference?
      • Introduction, Irina Chukhray and Jenifer Bratter
      • 1. Constructing Ethnicity: Creating and Recreating Ethnic Identity and Culture, Joane Nagel
      • 2. The Racialization of Kurdish Identity in Turkey, Murat Ergin
      • 3. Who Counts as “Them?”: Racism and Virtue in the United States and France, Mich√®le Lamont
      • 4. Mexican Immigrant Replenishment and the Continuing Significance of Ethnicity and Race, Tom√°s R. Jim√©nez
    • Why Race Matters
      • Introduction, Laura Essenburg and Jenifer Bratter
      • 5. Excerpt from Racial Formation in the United States From the 1960s to the 1990s, Michael Omi and Howard Winant
      • 6. Structural and Cultural Forces that Contribute to Racial Inequality, William Julius Wilson
      • 7. From Traditional to Liberal Racism: Living Racism in the Everyday, Margaret M. Zamudio and Francisco Rios
      • 8. Policing and Racialization of Rural Migrant Workers in Chinese Cities, Dong Han
      • 9. Why Group Membership Matters: A Critical Typology, Suzy Killmister
    • What Is Racism? Does Talking about Race and Ethnicity Make Things Worse?
      • Introduction, Laura Essenburg and Jenifer Bratter
      • 10. What Is Racial Domination?, Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer
      • 11. Discursive Colorlines at Work: How Epithets and Stereotypes are Racially Unequal, David G. Embrick and Kasey Henricks
      • 12. When Ideology Clashes with Reality: Racial Discrimination and Black Identity in Contemporary Cuba, Danielle P. Clealand
      • 13. Raceblindness in Mexico: Implications for Teacher Education in the United States, Christina A. Sue
  • UNIT II. Roots: Making Race and Ethnicity
    • Origins of Race and Ethnicity
      • Introduction, Adriana Garcia and Michael Emerson
      • 14. Antecedents of the Racial Worldview, Audrey Smedley and Brian Smedley
      • 15. Building the Racist Foundation: Colonialism, Genocide, and Slavery, Joe R. Feagin
      • 16. The Racialization of the Globe: An Interactive Interpretation, Frank Dik√∂tter
    • Migrations
      • Introduction, Sandra Alvear
      • 17. Excerpt from Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900-1945, George J. S√°nchez
      • 18. Migration to Europe since 1945: Its History and Its Lessons, Randall Hansen
      • 19. When Identities Become Modern: Japanese Emigration to Brazil and the Global Contextualization of Identity, Takeyuki (Gaku) Tsuda
    • Ideologies
      • Introduction, Junia Howell
      • 20. Excerpt from Racism: A Short History, George M. Fredrickson
      • 21. Understanding Latin American Beliefs about Racial Inequality, Edward Telles and Stanley Bailey
      • 22. Buried Alive: The Concept of Race in Science, Troy Duster
  • Unit III. Today: Remaking Race and Ethnicity
    • Aren’t We All Just Human? How Race and Ethnicity Help Us Answer the Question
      • Introduction, Adriana Garcia
      • 23. Young Children Learning Racial and Ethnic Matters, Debra Van Ausdale and Joe R. Feagin
      • 24. When White Is Just Alright: How Immigrants Redefine Achievement and Reconfigure the Ethnoracial Hierarchy, Tom√°s R. Jim√©nez and Adam L. Horowitz
      • 25. From Bi-Racial to Tri-Racial: Towards a New System of Racial Stratification in the USA, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
      • 26. Indigenism, Mestizaje, and National Identity in Mexico during the 1940s and the 1950s, Anne Doremus
    • The Company You Keep: How Ethnicity and Race Frame Social Relationships
      • Introduction, William Rothwell
      • 27. Who We’ll Live With: Neighborhood Racial Composition Preferences of Whites, Blacks and Latinos, Valerie A. Lewis, Michael O. Emerson, and Stephen L. Klineberg
      • 28. The Costs of Diversity in Religious Organizations: An In-Depth Case Study, Brad Christerson and Michael O. Emerson
    • The Uneven Playing Field: How Race and Ethnicity Impact Life Chances
      • Introduction, Ellen Whitehead and Jenifer Bratter
      • 29. Wealth in the Extended Family: An American Dilemma, Ngina S. Chiteji
      • 30. The Complexities and Processes of Racial Housing Discrimination, Vincent J. Roscigno, Diana L. Karafin, and Griff Tester
      • 31. Racial Segregation and the Black/White Achievement Gap, 1992 to 2009, Dennis J. Condron, Daniel Tope, Christina R. Steidl, and Kendralin J. Freeman
      • 32. Differential Vulnerabilities: Environmental and Economic Inequality and Government Response to Unnatural Disasters, Robert D. Bullard
      • 33. Racialized Mass Incarceration: Poverty, Prejudice, and Punishment, Lawrence D. Bobo and Victor Thompson
  • Unit IV. Unmaking Race and Ethnicity
    • Thinking Strategically
      • Introduction, Junia Howell and Michael Emerson
      • 34. The Return of Assimilation? Changing Perspectives on Immigration and Its Sequels in France, Germany, and the United States, Rogers Brubaker
      • 35. Toward a Truly Multiracial Democracy: Thinking and Acting Outside the White Frame, Joe R. Feagin
      • 36. Destabilizing the American Racial Order, Jennifer Hochschild, Vesla Weaver, and Traci Burch
    • Altering Individuals and Relationships
      • Introduction, Horace Duffy and Jenifer Bratter
      • 37. A More Perfect Union, Barack Obama
      • 38. What Can Be Done?, Debra Van Ausdale and Joe R. Feagin
      • 39. The Multiple Dimensions of Racial Mixture in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: From Whitening to Brazilian Negritude, Graziella Moraes da Silva and Elisa P. Reis
    • Altering Structures
      • Introduction, Kevin T. Smiley and Jenifer Bratter
      • 40. The Case for Reparations, Ta-Nehisi Coates
      • 41. “Undocumented and Citizen Students Unite”: Building a Cross-Status Coalition Through Shared Ideology, Laura E. Enriquez
      • 42. Racial Solutions for a New Society, Michael Emerson and George Yancey
      • 43. DREAM Act College: UCLA Professors Create National Diversity University, Online School for Undocumented Immigrants, Alyssa Creamer
  • Glossary
  • Credits
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Land of the Cosmic Race

Posted in Anthropology, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico, Social Science on 2015-03-08 01:34Z by Steven

Land of the Cosmic Race

Sociological Forum
Volume 30, Issue 1 (March 2015)
pages 248-251
DOI: 10.1111/socf.12157

Martha King
Graduate Center
City University of New York

Land of the Cosmic Race: Race Mixture, Racism, and Blackness in Mexico. Christina A. Sue. New York: University of Oxford Press, 2013.

In Land of the Cosmic Race: Race Mixture, Racism, and Blackness in Mexico, Christina A. Sue makes significant theoretical and empirical contributions to the field of racial and ethnic studies and to its growing subfield of comparative investigation. These contributions are more impressive because they stem from Sue’s dissertation and compose her first book. Her study is an ambitious ethnography exploring Mexicans’ negotiation of racial and national ideology at a micro level, as well as the themes of mestizaje (race mixture), racism, racial identity construction, and blackness in everyday discourse. Sue’s qualitative approach richly blends various sources: participant observation, interviews, and focus groups. Her fieldwork was conducted between 2003 and 2005 in Mexico’s urbanized Veracruz region, which lies on the coast southeast of Mexico City. As in comparable metropolitan areas in Mexico, the majority of residents are mestizo while a smaller proportion is indigenous. Veracruz, however, is unique because it is home to a higher proportion of people of African descent and its residents have more phenotypical variation. It was a major gateway for African slaves and has acted in recent years as an entry point for migrant black Cubans.

For much of Mexico’s colonial period, blacks outnumbered whites (p. 11). Finding segregation increasingly difficult to maintain because of race mixing, colonial authorities implemented a hierarchical caste system based on race, color, culture, and socioeconomic status with Spaniards at the top, then mixed-race individuals, Indians, and Africans at the bottom. During the postrevolutionary period, Mexican leaders and elites celebrated mestizo identity as the foundation of Mexican nationalism and distinction. This ideological turn was intended to cope with indigenous marginalization and social divisions and evade the period’s rampant scientific racism that would see Mexico as a less capable or worthy nation due to its black and indigenous population.

This postrevolutionary ideology is the foundation for Mexico’s contemporary national ideology. Sue describes contemporary national ideology as composed of three pillars. The first pillar is that of mestizaje, which upholds race mixture as positive and quintessentially Mexican (p. 15). The second pillar is nonracism, meaning Mexico is a country free of racism. Sue’s informants consistently confirm that because Mexico’s national identity is based on race mixture, then racism is inconceivable. The third pillar is nonblackness or the ‚Äúminimization or erasure of blackness from Mexican national image, both as a separate racial category and as a component of the mestizo population‚ÄĚ (p. 16). Sue argues persuasively that these three pillars are complementary in facilitating racial discrimination and the privileging of whiteness in Mexico.

Sue’s overarching question is how do individuals respond to, manage, and resolve the contradictions between Mexico’s national ideology and their daily experiences of white privilege and discrimination toward people of African descent (p. 5). Sue’s data persuasively show that mechanisms and discourse at the micro level play pivotal parts of reproducing ideology and social hierarchy in Mexico. Her work reminds us that elites do not, on their own, develop and maintain dominant ideologies. Instead, ‚Äúthe social force behind ideology lies in the popular realm‚ÄĚ (p. 8)…

Read the entire review here.

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Parsing Race and Blackness in Mexico

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico, Social Science on 2014-10-30 16:02Z by Steven

Parsing Race and Blackness in Mexico

Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews
Volume 43, Number 6 (November 2014)
pages 816-820
DOI: 10.1177/0094306114553216a

Enid Logan, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Minnesota

Land of the Cosmic Race: Race Mixture, Racism, and Blackness in Mexico, by Christina A. Sue  Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2013. 234pp. $24.95 paper. ISBN: 9780199925506.

In Land of the Cosmic Race, Christina Sue offers an ambitious, data-rich ethnography set in the ‚Äúblackest‚ÄĚ area of Mexico: the port city of Veracruz. She asks how the local population understands and negotiates racial and national identity, and in particular, how they make sense of the tricky issue of blackness in Mexico. Sue is one of a comparatively small number of sociologists who study race relations in Latin America, as most scholarship in this area has come from the fields of anthropology and history. Though the study is grounded in Veracruz, Sue‚Äôs larger intent is to analyze racial dynamics in contemporary Mexico writ large.

Sue ‚Äúcentralizes the racial common sense‚ÄĚ of Mexican mestizos, a population that she estimates to comprise up to 90 percent of the total (p. 6). Mestizo is a broad category including anyone of ‚Äúmixed-race‚ÄĚ ancestry: Spanish, indigenous, or African. And in large part because Mexico defines itself as a mestizo nation, almost everyone in Mexico identifies as mestizo as well. Within the broad racial category of mestizo, Sue states, there are crucial distinctions of color, which are too often ignored. She sets out to analyze these distinctions in her study.

She writes that Mexican mestizos negotiate the dynamics of race and color in ‚Äúan ideological terrain littered with contradiction‚ÄĚ (p. 18). While elite ideology asserts that racism in Mexico is non-existent, implies that there are no blacks in Mexico, and is officially celebratory of race-mixing (or mestizaje), the lived experiences of most Mexicans, Sue claims, are ‚Äúreplete‚ÄĚ with contradictory attitudes and events (p. 5). Sue uncovers in her research a general distaste for intercolor relationships from the point of view of those whose racial capital they would degrade, a clear aesthetic preference for whiteness, and a wealth of strongly-held negative beliefs about blacks and…

Read or purchase the review here.

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Land of the cosmic race: race mixture, racism, and blackness in Mexico [Villarreal Review]

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Social Science on 2014-08-28 20:37Z by Steven

Land of the cosmic race: race mixture, racism, and blackness in Mexico [Villarreal Review]

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 37, Issue 10, 2014
Special Issue: Ethnic and Racial Studies Review
pages 1989-1991
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2014.920094

Andrés Villarreal, Professor of Sociology
University of Maryland, College Park

Land of the cosmic race: race mixture, racism, and blackness in Mexico, by Christina A. Sue, New York, Oxford University Press, 2013, xi + 234 pp., £15.99 (paperback), ISBN 978-0-19-992550-6

A powerful official ideology promoted by the Mexican Government since the early twentieth century glorifies the mestizo, defined as the descendant of both indigenous and Spanish peoples, as a symbol of national identity. This same ideology holds racism to be inexistent in contemporary Mexico, and negates the contribution of individuals of African descent to Mexican history and to the racial make-up of the nation. Despite the importation of many thousands of slaves during the colonial period, blacks have been essentially erased from the national consciousness. Christina Sue’s outstanding ethnographic study uncovers how Mexican men and women work to reconcile this official national ideology which they vehemently espouse, with their own lived experiences in which individuals with a darker skin tone are routinely discriminated in everyday life, and in which African ancestry is clearly evident in some regions of the country.

Research on racial attitudes in Indo-Latin American countries such as Mexico has focused mostly on the mestizo‚Äďindigenous dichotomy. However, Sue convincingly argues that distinctions along a colour continuum within the mestizo population have an important effect on individuals’ life chances. Framing discussions in terms of colour rather than race allows many Mexicans to make comparisons without violating the national ideology according to which racial classifications are no longer relevant.

In contrast to the official ideology of non-racism, Sue finds evidence of tremendous racial prejudice among her subjects in the coastal city of Veracruz. Veracruzanos with a lighter skin tone enjoy preferential treatment socially and in work settings. Employers often code their preference for workers with lighter skin tones by soliciting candidates with ‚Äėgood presentation‚Äô, a term whose meaning is fully known by job applicants. Racial prejudice is also evident within family units. Family members use a variety of gatekeeping techniques to prevent the entry of dark-skinned individuals into their families through marriage. A woman interviewed by Sue reports that her mother-in-law refuses to speak to her because she is darker than her husband (94). Veracruzanos also agonize over children inheriting the phenotype of a darker parent. Reflecting the disappointment that his daughter inherited his darker skin tone, one father notes: ‚ÄėI wouldn‚Äôt have cared if she was ugly like me, but I wanted her to have green eyes ‚Ķ like her mother or be light like her mother. But she came out ugly like me‚Äô (74). As in other parts of Latin America, Sue finds that Veracruzanos systematically equate whiteness with beauty and higher social standing. Darker family members are routinely insulted and devalued, while lighter members receive more resources and attention…

Read the entire review here.

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Global Mixed Race

Posted in Africa, Anthologies, Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, Canada, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Europe, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2014-08-18 02:29Z by Steven

Global Mixed Race

New York University Press
March 2014
357 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9780814770733
Paper ISBN: 9780814789155

Edited by:

Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain, Senior Lecturer
National University of Ireland, Maynooth

Stephen Small, Associate Professor of African American Studies
University of California, Berkeley

Minelle Mahtani, Associate Professor in the Department of Human Geography and the Program in Journalism
University of Toronto, Scarborough

Miri Song, Professor of Sociology
University of Kent

Paul Spickard, Professor of History and Affiliate Professor of Black Studies, Asian American Studies, East Asian Studies, Religious Studies, and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara

Patterns of migration and the forces of globalization have brought the issues of mixed race to the public in far more visible, far more dramatic ways than ever before. Global Mixed Race examines the contemporary experiences of people of mixed descent in nations around the world, moving beyond US borders to explore the dynamics of racial mixing and multiple descent in Zambia, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Okinawa, Australia, and New Zealand.  In particular, the volume’s editors ask: how have new global flows of ideas, goods, and people affected the lives and social placements of people of mixed descent?  Thirteen original chapters address the ways mixed-race individuals defy, bolster, speak, and live racial categorization, paying attention to the ways that these experiences help us think through how we see and engage with social differences. The contributors also highlight how mixed-race people can sometimes be used as emblems of multiculturalism, and how these identities are commodified within global capitalism while still considered by some as not pure or inauthentic. A strikingly original study, Global Mixed Race carefully and comprehensively considers the many different meanings of racial mixedness.

Contents

  • Global Mixed Race: An Introduction / Stephen Small and Rebecca C. King-O‚ÄôRiain
  • Part I: Societies with Established Populations of Mixed Descent
    • 1. Multiraciality and Census Classification in Global Perspective / Ann Morning
    • 2. ‚ÄúRider of Two Horses‚ÄĚ: Eurafricans in Zambia / Juliette Bridgette Milner-Thornton
    • 3. ‚ÄúSplit Me in Two‚ÄĚ: Gender, Identity, and ‚ÄúRace Mixing‚ÄĚ in the Trinidad and Tobago Nation / Rhoda Reddock
    • 4. In the Laboratory of Peoples‚Äô Friendship: Mixed People in Kazakhstan from the Soviet Era to the Present / Saule K. Ualiyeva and Adrienne L. Edgar
    • 5. Competing Narratives: Race and Multiraciality in the Brazilian Racial Order / G. Reginald Daniel and Andrew Michael Lee
    • 6. Antipodean Mixed Race: Australia and New Zealand / Farida Fozdar and Maureen Perkins
    • 7. Negotiating Identity Narratives among Mexico‚Äôs Cosmic Race / Christina A. Sue
  • Part II: Places with Newer Populations of Mixed Descent
    • 8. Multiraciality and Migration: Mixed-Race American Okinawans, 1945‚Äď1972 / Lily Anne Yumi Welty
    • 9. The Curious Career of the One-Drop Rule: Multiraciality and Membership in Germany Today / Miriam Nandi and Paul Spickard
    • 10. Capturing ‚ÄúMixed Race‚ÄĚ in the Decennial UK Censuses: Are Current Approaches Sustainable in the Age of Globalization and Superdiversity? / Peter J. Aspinall and Miri Song
    • 11. Exporting the Mixed-Race Nation: Mixed-Race Identities in the Canadian Context / Minelle Mahtani, Dani Kwan-Lafond, and Leanne Taylor
  • Global Mixed Race: A Conclusion / Rebecca C. King-O‚ÄôRiain
  • Bibliography
  • About the Contributors
  • Index
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Book Review: Land of the Cosmic Race: Race Mixture, Racism and Blackness in Mexico

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico, Social Science on 2013-09-09 04:08Z by Steven

Book Review: Land of the Cosmic Race: Race Mixture, Racism and Blackness in Mexico

LSE Review of Books
London School of Economics
2013-08-30

Zalfa Feghali, Editorial Assistant
Journal of American Studies

Land of the Cosmic Race is a richly-detailed ethnographic account of the powerful role that race and colour play in organizing the lives and thoughts of ordinary Mexicans. It presents a previously untold story of how individuals in contemporary urban Mexico construct their identities, attitudes, and practices in the context of a dominant national belief system. Carefully presented and self-consciously written, this is an excellent book for anyone with an interest in how Mexican racial politics can be seen to operate on the ground, finds Zalfa Feghali.

Land of the Cosmic Race: Race Mixture, Racism, and Blackness in Mexico. Christina A. Sue. Oxford University Press. March 2013.

One prevailing fact of studying race in the Americas is that the discussion almost always turns to the US as a reference point. Studies of racial dynamics in the Americas are‚ÄĒobviously‚ÄĒrich, necessary, and often sidelined in favour of these more popular ways of thinking about race. Christina A. Sue‚Äôs Land of the Cosmic Race: Race Mixture, Racism and Blackness in Mexico attempts to redress this imbalance by complicating and problematising the dynamics of racial mixture in Mexico. Primarily an ethnographic study, this book offers new ways of thinking about race studies in the Mexican context.

The book‚Äôs title, which Sue discusses but doesn‚Äôt fully unpack, is taken from a provocative work by Jose Vasconcelos, The Cosmic Race, published in 1925. Vasconcelos‚Äô views on mestizaje¬≠‚ÄĒracial mixture‚ÄĒare key to understanding the dominant ideological logic behind Mexico‚Äôs national(ist) relationship with race. In The Cosmic Race, Vasconcelos sees the vast potential of (specifically) Mexicans as mestizos, and lauds them for their mestizo/a (mixed race, specifically Spanish and Indigenous) character. Significantly, he also casts the mestizos as the first stage in the creation of a new, cosmic race that will eventually take on characteristics and subsume the genetic streams of ‚Äúall the races.‚ÄĚ According to his logic, this cosmic race would take on the best or most desirable traits from each respective race and eventually lines between the ‚Äúoriginal‚ÄĚ races will blur to the point that any one individual‚Äôs ‚Äúracial heritage‚ÄĚ would be completely indistinguishable from another‚Äôs, thus becoming the ultimate mestizo/a (something akin what some might now call a post-ethnic or post-racial world)…

Read the entire review here.

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Notions of race in modern-day Mexico addressed in lecture, exhibit

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico on 2013-04-04 15:33Z by Steven

Notions of race in modern-day Mexico addressed in lecture, exhibit

The Daily Tar Heel
2013-04-03

Tat’yana Berdan

The Daily Tar Heel is the student newspaper at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The complicated and nuanced issue of race in Mexico is often overlooked, but The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History hopes to spark an inclusive conversation.

The Stone Center is presenting a conversation with Christina Sue and Laura Lewis, two scholars with extensive knowledge of the issue of race in modern-day Mexico.

In addition to the talk, the Stone Center is also unveiling a new photo exhibit, ‚ÄúLa Costa Chica,‚ÄĚ by Wendy Phillips, a UNC alumna.

‚ÄúHere at the Stone Center, we have a tradition of discussing these types of issues,‚ÄĚ said Clarissa Goodlett, the Center‚Äôs program and public communications officer.

Goodlett said the Center chose to host this particular event as part of its ongoing exploration of the idea of diaspora and where people of African descent live today.

Christina Sue, assistant professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and one of the authors speaking at the event, said she is looking forward to engaging in conversation with Laura Lewis, the other author that will be present.

‚ÄúI hope we can both learn from each other, and I hope it will further our understanding of Mexico,‚ÄĚ Sue said.

Sue said her book, ‚ÄúLand of the Cosmic Race: Race Mixture, Racism, and Blackness in Mexico,‚ÄĚ discusses the ideas or race, racism and race mixing in modern day Mexico.

Sue said the book, which was inspired by what Sue observed doing field research in Veracruz, Mexico, focuses on the difference between the Mexican government‚Äôs attitude towards the issue of race versus the reality faced by mixed race people living in Mexico…

Read the entire article here.

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Land of the Cosmic Race: Race Mixture, Racism, and Blackness in Mexico

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs, Social Science on 2013-02-09 02:24Z by Steven

Land of the Cosmic Race: Race Mixture, Racism, and Blackness in Mexico

Oxford University Press
January 2013
256 pages
2 photographs; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Hardback ISBN13: 978-0-19-992548-3; ISBN10: 0-19-992548-8
Paperback ISBN13: 978-0-19-992550-6; ISBN10: 0-19-992550-X

Christina A. Sue, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Colorado, Boulder

Land of the Cosmic Race is a richly-detailed ethnographic account of the powerful role that race and color play in organizing the lives and thoughts of ordinary Mexicans. It presents a previously untold story of how individuals in contemporary urban Mexico construct their identities, attitudes, and practices in the context of a dominant national belief system. The book centers around Mexicans’ engagement with three racialized pillars of Mexican national ideology – the promotion of race mixture, the assertion of an absence of racism in the country, and the marginalization of blackness in Mexico.

The subjects of this book are mestizos‚ÄĒthe mixed-race people of Mexico who are of Indigenous, African, and European ancestry and the intended consumers of this national ideology. Land of the Cosmic Race illustrates how Mexican mestizos navigate the sea of contradictions that arise when their everyday lived experiences conflict with the national stance and how they manage these paradoxes in a way that upholds, protects, and reproduces the national ideology. Drawing on a year of participant observation, over 110 interviews, and focus-groups from Veracruz, Mexico, Christina A. Sue offers rich insight into the relationship between race-based national ideology and the attitudes and behaviors of mixed-race Mexicans. Most importantly, she theorizes as to why elite-based ideology not only survives but actually thrives within the popular understandings and discourse of those over whom it is designed to govern.

Features

  • The first serious study to address how race functions among Mexican mestizos

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Mapping the Veracruz Race-Color Terminological Terrain
  • Chapter 3: Beneath the Surface of Mixed-Race Identities
  • Chapter 4: Mestizos’ Attitudes on Race Mixture
  • Chapter 5: Inter-Color Couples and Mixed-Color Families in a Mixed-Race Society
  • Chapter 6: Situating Blackness in a Mestizo Nation
  • Chapter 7: Silencing and Explaining Away Racial Discrimination
  • Chapter 8: What’s at Stake? Racial Common Sense and Securing a Mexican National Identity
  • Epilogue: The Turn of the Twenty-First Century: An Ideological Shift?
  • Appendix
  • References
  • Index
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Race and national ideology in Mexico: An ethnographic study of racism, color, mestizaje and blackness in Veracruz

Posted in Caribbean/Latin America, Dissertations, Media Archive, Mexico, Social Science on 2012-03-07 22:17Z by Steven

Race and national ideology in Mexico: An ethnographic study of racism, color, mestizaje and blackness in Veracruz

Univerity of California, Los Angeles
2007
191 pages
Publication Number: AAT 3280987
ISBN: 9780549234821

Christina A. Sue, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Colorado, Boulder

A dissertation submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology

The literature on race relations has shown that racial and color categorization, racial consciousness, national ideologies, discourses on racism and patterns of discrimination have developed very differently in Latin America compared to the United States. Although a number of studies have explored these differences in countries such as Brazil, little research has been done on questions of race and color in Mexico, beyond studies of the Indigenous population. This dissertation begins to fill this gap in the literature by focusing on the role of race and color among Mexico’s population. Using participant observation, semi-structured interviews and focus groups, findings from this study provide detailed insights regarding the real life implications of race and color in Veracruz, Mexico. Specifically, I discuss how Veracruzanos reconcile the national ideology of non-racism in Mexico with their everyday lived experiences with discrimination. In addition, I interrogate the meaning of blackness in the region, both in the sense of racial identification and in reference to the construction of the category “black.” Not only is there extreme hesitancy to identify as “black” and a general dismissal of the role individuals of African descent played in Mexico’s development, blackness is seen as something foreign to the nation. Furthermore, in this dissertation I discuss the role of color in the region and its relation to the national ideology promoting race mixture, discourses on racism and meanings of blackness. I found that the national ideology is not embraced at the ground level in a way in which the founders intended. Instead, there is a clear trend for individuals to adopt mestizaje [race mixture] as a strategy to whiten themselves within the mixed-race category. Regarding discourses on racism, I describe how Veracruzanos, while being extremely reluctant to talk about racial divisions, engage in a proxy discourse based on color to incorporate such distinctions into everyday conversation. Finally, in relation to blackness, a color-based discourse is used by Veracruzanos to distance themselves from the category “black.”

Purchase the dissertation here.

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Racial Ideologies, Racial-Group Boundaries, and Racial Identity in Veracruz, Mexico

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Mexico, Slavery on 2011-07-31 22:02Z by Steven

Racial Ideologies, Racial-Group Boundaries, and Racial Identity in Veracruz, Mexico

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 5, Number 3 (November 2010)
pages 273-299
DOI: 10.1080/17442222.2010.513829

Recent scholarly interest in the populations of African descent in Latin America has contributed to a growing body of literature. Although a number of studies have explored the issue of blackness in Afro-Latin American countries, much less attention has been paid to how blackness functions in mestizo American countries. Furthermore, in mestizo America, the theoretical emphasis has oftentimes been placed on the mestizo/Indian divide, leaving no conceptual room to explore the issue of blackness. This article begins to fill this gap in the literature by focusing on blackness in the western Caribbean cities of Port of Veracruz and Boca del R√≠o, which lie in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Specifically, it looks at the racial-based and color-based identification of individuals of African descent, societal construction of the ‚Äėblack‚Äô category, and the relationship between national and racial identities. This article relies on data from participant observation conducted over the course of one year and 112 semi-structured interviews.

…Blackness in Mexico

During the 16th and 17th centuries, Mexico and Peru were the largest importers of African slaves in Spanish America (Palmer, 1976). Most scholars estimate that approximately 200,000 African slaves reached Mexico‚Äôs shores, although the number may be higher since many slaves were imported illegally (Aguirre Beltr√°n, 1944). When the slave system collapsed in the early 1700s, the biological integration of the population increased as the African-origin population increasingly mixed with the Indian and Spanish groups (Cope, 1994). After 1821, when Mexico gained independence from Spain, legal distinctions pertaining to race were terminated (Gonz√°lez Navarro, 1970). By this time it was generally assumed that the black population had ‚Äėdisappeared‚Äô through biological integration with the broader population.

Mexico’s early-20th-century post-revolutionary ideology further solidified the narrative of the disappearance of Mexico’s black population. This ideology promoted the mixed-race individual (mestizo) as the quintessential Mexican (Knight, 1990; Vasconcelos, 1925). In doing so, however, it not only glorified the mestizo, but sought to assimilate the Indigenous (Knight, 1990) and African (Hernández Cuevas, 2004, 2005) components of Mexico’s population through integration. The erasure of the African element in Mexico continued in the following decades through the Eurocentric re-interpretation of particular aspects of Mexican culture (Gonzalez-El Hilali, 1997; Hernandez-Cuevas, 2004, 2005).

The supposed disappearance of the African-origin population was first questioned in the 1940s when Gonzalo Aguirre Beltr√°n (1946, 1958) studied what he defined as a ‚Äėblack‚Äô population in the Costa Chica region of Mexico‚Äôs southern coast. Aguirre Beltr√°n‚Äôs pioneering study set the stage for the re-emergence of the issue of blackness in Mexico. In the past few decades, there has been a surge of scholarly work on the topic, much of which has focused on the historical experience of Africans and their descendants (Aguirre Beltr√°n, 1944; Alc√°ntara L√≥pez, 2002; Bennett, 2003; Carroll, 2001; Ch√°vez Carbajal, 1997; Garc√≠a Bustamante, 1987; Gil Maron√£, 1992; Herrera Casas√ļs, 1991; Mart√≠nez Montiel & Reyes, 1993; Mart√≠nez Montiel, 1993; Motta S√°nchez, 2001; Naveda Ch√°vez-Hita, 1987, 2001; Palmer, 1976; Rout, 1976; Vincent, 1994; Vinson III, 2001; Winfield Capitaine, 1988) and the African contribution to Mexican culture (D√≠az P√©rez et al., 1993; Gonzalez-El Hilali, 1997; Hall, 2008; Hernandez-Cuevas, 2004, 2005; Malcomson, forthcoming; Mart√≠nez Montiel, 1993; Ochoa Serrano, 1997; P√©rez Montfort, 2007; for more general overviews and/or discussions of Afro-Mexicans, see Hoffman, 2006a, 2008; Martinez Montiel, 1997; Muhammad, 1995; Vinson III & Vaughn 2004); less attention has been paid to the contemporary experience of Mexicans of African descent. When the contemporary experience is addressed, most scholars focus on the Costa Chica region (Aguirre Beltr√°n, 1946, 1958; Althoff, 1994; Campos, 2005; D√≠az P√©rez et al., 1993; Flanet, 1977; Guti√©rrez √Āvila, 1988; Hoffman, 2007a; Lewis, 2000, 2001, 2004; Moedano Navarro, 1988; Tib√≥n, 1961; Vaughn, 2001a). However, Hoffman (2007a, 2007b) argues that the Costa Chica represents an exceptional case in Mexico, and that identity formation in this region is not based on negotiation with state-sponsored institutions due to their limited presence in the area…

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