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Global Mixed Race$
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Rebecca C. King-O'Riain, Stephen Small, Minelle Mahtani, Miri Song, and Paul Spickard

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814770733

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814770733.001.0001

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Negotiating Identity Narratives among Mexico’s Cosmic Race

Negotiating Identity Narratives among Mexico’s Cosmic Race

(p.144) 7 Negotiating Identity Narratives among Mexico’s Cosmic Race
Global Mixed Race

Christina A. Sue

NYU Press

This chapter studies the ideologies and practices of race mixture in Mexico. In colonial times, Spaniards developed an elaborate caste system to maintain a socio-racial hierarchy in light of the race mixture (mestizaje) that was occurring between the indigenous, Spanish, and African populations. The ideology and practice of race mixing continued after Mexico gained independence from Spain and played a prominent role during the era of the Mexican Revolution. As part of revolutionary and postrevolutionary rhetoric, the ideology of mestizaje became a central focus of nation-building efforts. At the same time, however, there was a strong value placed on whiteness. In fact, contemporary Mexican society represents a pigmentocracy where light-skinned individuals dominate the top social strata and dark-skinned individuals are overrepresented at the bottom of the socioeconomic hierarchy.

Keywords:   race mixture, caste system, socio-racial hierarchy, Mexican Revolution, mestizaje

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