Accepted Paper:

Making a difference: mestizos are not born but made  


Verena Stolcke (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Paper short abstract:

Words create reality. In the past decades culture has become as ubiquitous as ambiguous in anthropology and politics. Culture evokes cultural diversity. But what does diversity mean today?

Paper long abstract:

About a decade ago I coined the notion of cultural fundamentalism to characterize the exclusivist political rethoric with which old world politicians justified the closure of borders to keep migrants out. Not only the notion of culture meaning cultural diversity has become ubiquitous. Ideas such as multiculturalism, mestizaje, hibridity, creolization have gained currency as the political correct response to cultural exclusivisms and discriminations. In my presentation I will present the coming into being of mestizos in the formation of Spanish-american colonial society as a revealing example of the treacherous character of notions of "mixture". For, as I will show, all fasionable proposals to overcome social exclusion by means of cultural mestizaje, etc. in fact presuppose pure cultures.

Panel Plen2
The uses of diversity