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Indigenous Inclusion/Black Exclusion: Race, Ethnicity and Multicultural Citizenship in Latin America

  • JULIET HOOKER

Abstract

This article analyses the causes of the disparity in collective rights gained by indigenous and Afro-Latin groups in recent rounds of multicultural citizenship reform in Latin America. Instead of attributing the greater success of indians in winning collective rights to differences in population size, higher levels of indigenous group identity or higher levels of organisation of the indigenous movement, it is argued that the main cause of the disparity is the fact that collective rights are adjudicated on the basis of possessing a distinct group identity defined in cultural or ethnic terms. Indians are generally better positioned than most Afro-Latinos to claim ethnic group identities separate from the national culture and have therefore been more successful in winning collective rights. It is suggested that one of the potentially negative consequences of basing group rights on the assertion of cultural difference is that it might lead indigenous groups and Afro-Latinos to privilege issues of cultural recognition over questions of racial discrimination as bases for political mobilisation in the era of multicultural politics.

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