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Upcoming Events at AILASA

MAY 15

Racial and ethnic categorisation in Latin American censuses (19th, 20th and 21st centuries): perspectives for comparative analysis

Sydney Research Community for Latin America (SURCLA) seminar
Tuesday 15 May
Refectory, Quadrangle Building, 5pm

Talk by Dr Luis Fernando Angosto Ferrández

Racial and ethnic categorisation in Latin American censuses (19th, 20th and 21st centuries): perspectives for comparative analysis

Ethnic and racial categories have re-emerged as pivotal in Latin American politics. States in the region are adjusting to the growing influence of social movements, political parties and civil organisations that, with differing strategies and outcomes, appeal to those social categories as a source of identification, mobilisation and/or political capital. In parallel, some governments are drawing on narratives of ethnicity and even raciality in order to reshape national identities and create new legitimacies for post-neoliberal political models. In this presentation, I will approach the study of these complex social processes through the analyses of national censuses, which can be considered both a reflection of grassroots political struggles and a state instrument of population management. Concretely, through comparative analysis and a diachronic perspective, I will discuss some of the political factors that have influenced the development of racial and ethnic categorisations in Latin American censuses from the 19th century up to the present day. The comparative scope will include the following countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.