“We see race in shades: light-skinned, dark skin, café con leche.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-12-21 22:38Z by Steven

Apart from the mixed messages of Hollywood and the census, another source of uncertainty lies in the different racial schemes prevalent in the U.S. and Brazil. While Americans often perceive people of mixed ancestry as nonwhite, Brazilians tend to understand race in a continuum and consider not only appearance or descent but also social and economic status.

As Luciano Gomes, a Brazilian immigrant who lives in Florida and works as a driver, observes, “We see race in shades: light-skinned, dark skin, café con leche.”

Frances Negrón-Muntaner, “Are Brazilians Latinos? What their identity struggle tells us about race in America,” The Conversation, December 20, 2016. https://theconversation.com/are-brazilians-latinos-what-their-identity-struggle-tells-us-about-race-in-america-64792.

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Are Brazilians Latinos? What their identity struggle tells us about race in America

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Communications/Media Studies, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-12-21 19:03Z by Steven

Are Brazilians Latinos? What their identity struggle tells us about race in America

The Conversation

Frances Negrón-Muntaner, Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Columbia University, New York, New York

Bikini waxes, keratin hair blowouts and all-you-can-eat steakhouses.

In the United States, all three are closely associated with the word “Brazilian.” Yet, although none of these things are linked to Latino identity, one of the questions that journalists frequently ask me is, “Are Brazilians Latinos?” Surprisingly, many Brazilian-Americans also ask me the same question. As one of my students put it, “Because ‘Brazilian’ is not an option in any census, job or college form, you get older and wonder, where do I fit in?”

The confusion is warranted.

It illuminates how U.S. public discourse and policy classifies 57 million people from very different ethnic, racial and national backgrounds into the categories of “Latino” and “Hispanic.” That Brazilians do not quite fit the box enables us to probe the terms “Latino” and “Hispanic” and their implications. This is important at a time when Latinos are reaching 18 percent of the U.S. population…

Read the entire article here.

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Colloquium – Mónica Moreno Figueroa on “Naming Ourselves: Recognising Racism and Mestizaje in Mexico”

Posted in Caribbean/Latin America, History, Live Events, Media Archive, Mexico, Social Science, United States on 2011-09-12 02:29Z by Steven

Colloquium – Mónica Moreno Figueroa on “Naming Ourselves: Recognising Racism and Mestizaje in Mexico”

Auditorium of King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center
New York University
53 Washington Square South
New York, New York
Monday, 2011-09-12, 18:00-20:00 EDT (Local Time)

Mónica Moreno Figueroa, Lecturer in Sociology
Newcastle University

Discussant: Frances Negrón-Muntaner

Hosted by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at NYU

Mónica Moreno Figueroa is a Lecturer in Sociology at Newcastle University, UK in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology. Her research is concerned with the contemporary practices of racism in relation to discourses of mixed-race identities, feminist theory and emotions, with a specific focus on Mexico. In particular, she is interested in the qualities of the lived experience of racism; the significance of racial ideologies and notions of race and nation; and the experience of racism analysed from the particular perspective of the visible, specifically the relationship between visual representations of identities, embodiment and racist practices. She teaches extensively on these topics. Mónica has published in Ethnicities, History of the Human Sciences, Journal of Intercultural Studies and the Journal for Cultural Research as well as in the edited collections Raza, Etnicidad y Sexualidades (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), Porn.Com (Peter Lang Publishing Group) and Mestizaje, Diferencia y Nación (INAH, UNAM, CEMCA and IRD), and has two forthcoming chapters in Contesting Recognition (Palgrave) and Cultures of Colour (Berghahn Books).

Drawing from empirical research on contemporary practices of racism and understandings of the discourse of mestizaje, this paper presents an examination of the ambiguities of Mestiza identity as an unproblematised but racialised identity. Mestiza is a racial category that emerges as a key component of the ideological myth of formation of the Mexican nation, namely mestizaje, during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In such a project of state formation Mexican is equivalent to Mestiza. Mestiza refers to those who represent Mexicaness and, therefore, those who are closer to the model of the ideal subjects of the Mexican Mestiza nation. Mestizaje, as this ideological framework, boosts an implied rhetoric of inclusiveness while concealing processes of exclusion and racism. Mestiza is then seen as term both relatively ‘neutral’ (i.e. all Mexicans are Mestizas/os) but also as highly ‘loaded’ (implies possibilities of inclusion and exclusion to the national myth). This analysis considers the limits of racial recognition in what could be considered a raceless (Goldberg 2002) context. Such setting has given way to a process of racial and racist normalization that allows Mexican people to express and be convinced by the commonly spread idea that in Mexico there is no racism because we are all ‘mixed’. Mexicans do not recognise themselves as racial subjects, but as national subjects and citizens. In this scenario, recognition of racism is not preceded by the explicit claim of belonging to the specific Mestiza racial identity but a citizenship status.

The title for the CLACS Fall 2011 Colloquium Series is Contemporary Racisms in the Americas. This colloquium will explore emergent racisms in the Americas as integral to the multicultural and what some have called “post racial” present defined within larger processes of economic and cultural globalization and transnational migration. It will also deepen the understanding of different theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of contemporary forms of racism as major obstacles to the construction of intercultural relations, racial and economic justice, and democracy. In this way, it will complement the themes covered by the seminar on Racisms and anti-racist strategies in the Americas. It will become an opportunity for students to benefit from latest contributions to the analysis of racism in the hemisphere and develop a thematic and methodological comparative perspective. It will also become an opportunity for a larger audience to benefit from the information and analysis of cutting-edge scholarship which is also preoccupied with the construction of anti-racist strategies.

For more information, click here.

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