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Social and Cultural Policies toward Indigenous Peoples: Perspectives from Latin America

Guillermo de la Peña
Annual Review of Anthropology
Vol. 34 (2005), pp. 717-739
Published by: Annual Reviews
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25064905
Page Count: 23
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Abstract

Throughout the twentieth century, social and cultural policies toward indigenous peoples in Latin America have been closely related to indigenismo, an ideological movement that denounced the exploitation of aboriginal groups and strove for the cultural unity and the extension of citizenship through social integration and "acculturation." This review traces the colonial and nineteenth-century roots of indigenismo and places it in the context of the populist tendencies in most Latin American states from the 1920s to the 1970s, which favored economic protectionism and used agrarian reform and the provision of services as tools for governance and legitimacy. Also examined is the role of anthropological research in its relation to state hegemony as well as the denunciation of indigenista policies by ethnic intellectuals and organizations. In recent decades, the dismantling of populist policies has given rise to a new official "neoliberal" discourse that extols multiculturalism. However, the widespread demand for multicultural policies is also seen as the outcome of the fight by militant indigenous organizations for a new type of citizenship.

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