Racial Ideology and Forms of Nationalism

Claudio Lomnitz-Adler

in Exits from the Labyrinth

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 1993 | ISBN: 9780520077881
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520912472 | DOI:
Racial Ideology and Forms of Nationalism

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This chapter examines how and why colonial ideology emerged. It addresses the race and caste in the colonial (prenational) period. The evolution of hierarchy and individualism is discussed. Spanish ideology recognized an Indian society but denied a slave society. Furthermore, it argues that the specific dynamics of caste instability in New Spain explain much of the post-independence attitudes toward race and, as a result, they also help in understanding the ways in which the national community was ideologically constituted. The implantation of liberalism as the official ideology had the net effect of discarding certain aspects of the colonial racial ideology while it built on others. The rise of liberalism in a society that had been built upon the Spanish hierarchical model gave rise to a particular form of discrimination against Indians and a particularly flagrant valorization of whiteness. The ideology of the Revolution had mestizo nationalism at its core.

Keywords: colonial ideology; nationalism; race; caste; Indian society; Spanish ideology; liberalism; Revolution

Chapter.  9191 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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