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Quijano, Aníbal. Coloniality of Power and Eurocentrism in Latin America
2000, International Sociology, 15 (2): 215-232
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Added by: Adriana Clavel-Vázquez
Abstract: The globalization of the world is, in the first place, the culmination of a process that began with the constitution of America and world capitalism as a Euro-centered colonial/modern world power. One of the foundations of that pattern of power was the social classification of the world population upon the base of the idea of race, a mental construct that expresses colonial experience and that pervades the most important dimensions of world power, including its specific rationality: Eurocentrism. This article discusses some implications of that coloniality of power in Latin American history.

Comment (from this Blueprint): The coloniality of power at the centre of Latin American societies as analysed by Quijano is key to understanding why a notion like mestizaje is problematic when building national identities in multicultural States. Quijano’s notion of the coloniality of power helps explain why even when Latin American identities are purported to include Indigenous and Black culture, mestizaje often involves the “civilizing” force of European rationality. Quijano, therefore, helps in bringing forward the dangers of mestizophilia: the pseudo-integrative spirit of mestizaje into multiethnic, multicultural, multiracial society risks becoming a homogenization under whiteness.

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