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Understanding Latin American Beliefs about Racial Inequality

Edward Telles and Stanley Bailey
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 118, No. 6 (May 2013), pp. 1559-1595
DOI: 10.1086/670268
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/670268
Page Count: 37
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Understanding Latin American Beliefs about Racial Inequality
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Abstract

Scholars argue that Latin American ideologies of mestizaje, or racial mixing, mask ethnoracial discrimination. We examine popular explanations for indigenous or Afrodescendant disadvantage in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru using the 2010 AmericasBarometer survey. Findings show that numerical majorities across all countries endorse structural-disadvantage explanations and reject victim-blaming stances; in seven of eight countries, they specifically recognize discrimination against ethnoracial minorities. Brazilians most point to structural causes, while Bolivians are least likely to recognize discrimination. While educational status differences tend to be sizable, dominant and minority explanations are similar. Both are comparable to African-American views and contrast with those of U.S. whites.

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