Racial Democracy and Nationalism in Panama

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-01-01 08:36Z by Steven

Racial Democracy and Nationalism in Panama

Ethnology
Volume 45, Number 3 (Summer, 2006)
pages 209-228
DOI: 10.2307/20456595

Carla GuerrĂ³n-Montero, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Latin American Studies, Black American Studies, and Women’s Studies
University of Delaware

In spite of having more fluid and flexible racial boundaries than other regions of the world, Latin America continues to have racially hegemonic practices. Panama has a myth of racial egalitarianism, yet an inability to perceive that racial inequality is pervasive. This is illustrated with the paradox of race relations between Afro-Antilleans and the indigenous peoples in the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro. Intermarriage in the region and the notion that there is no racial inequality contrasts with the constant recognition of differences. Race relations and ethnic identity in this region have their origins in the competition between British, North American, and Central American interests, and have been shaped in relation to Panamanian nationalism.

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