University of Manchester, UK
Latin American ideologies and practices of mestizaje contain within them dynamics of equality and difference and of racial democracy and racism at the same time. I explore how this simultaneous co-existence operates in large part through complex entanglements of sexuality, gender and race/ethnicity, which take place at the level of the body and the family as well as the nation. I examine this through a number of concrete examples from different historical periods and regions of Latin America. I end with a brief look at processes of the formation of subjectivities, in which self-other relations, or in Bhabha’s terms the ‘Otherness of the Self’, take on a particular shape that allows the normalised co-existence of citizenly, democratic conviviality and antidemocratic racist practices.
Keywords: race, mestizaje, Latin America, sex, gender.