From the Neoliberal Multiculturalism to Differences as Forms of Litigation. The Hypothesis of Metissage in Latin America

Maura Brighenti, Verónica Gago


The dispute on mongrelization starts to play a fundamental role in Latin America inside the modernist debates about the national unity between the end of the XIX century and the beginning of the XX century, to later acquire an unprecedented global diffusion in the eighties and the nineties of the last century. Using the writings of the Bolivian sociologist Silvia River Cusicanqui and of the Argentinian anthropologist, who has long since been active in Brazil, Rita Segato, the essay reconstructs the historic and political happening of metissage in Latin America. The authors show that it is an historical concept which worked as an instance of legitimation both in the period of colonial oppression and later in the epoch of republican modernization. It represents the instrument to hide – if not to delete – the original character of modern State; for this reason it has been able to play a fundamental role in the epoch of liberalism as much as in the neoliberal one. However in mongrelization what is also at stake is that it can express the radically de-colonizing impulse of the differences as forms of litigation which inhabit the complex contemporary Latin American territories.



Colonialism; Moderniy; Neoliberalism; Race; Metissage

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.1825-9618/4235


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