Peter Wade
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.