Social Justice and the New Indigenous Politics

Susan Eva Eckstein and Timothy P. Wickham-Crowley

in What Justice? Whose Justice?

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780520237445
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520936980 | DOI:
Social Justice and the New Indigenous Politics

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This chapter appraises the initiative and activism practiced by the Latin American indigenous populations in achieving social justice, in recognition of difference. This end has been reached through emphasis on class/economic issues and cultural identity. The colonization of South America commenced a thorough disruption in the community and autonomous lives of the indigenous population. The dominant approach to indigenous affairs since the 1930s may be called indigenismo, a movement among white or mestizo intellectuals that affirms the indigenous heritage of Latin America while advocating the integration of the indigenous into the mestizo nation. In the Chaco War (1932–35), indigenous peoples were politically mobilized in Bolivia and Paraguay for the first time, especially in Bolivia, where the mobilization led to their being treated, for the first time, as part of the nation. This was followed by the subsequent formation of peasants unions and the great revolution (1952).

Keywords: indigenous population; indigenismo; mestizo; Chaco War; mobilization

Chapter.  10820 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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