Lecture: "‘What is Your Color or Race?’ The Politics of Ethnic Census Categories in Latin America”
Wed, April 25, 2012 • 12:00 PM • Hackett Room, SRH 1.313
The basic challenges faced by public institutions in recognizing and accommodating the identities of minority (or subaltern majority) groups are now common to most countries in the Americas. Cultural and ethnic diversity has become an important aspect of policy-making and public debate; complex issues such as immigration and naturalization reform, the application of antidiscrimination norms, the implementation and assessment of affirmative action, curriculum guidelines for education, language use and bilingualism, religious freedom and secularism, etc. require facing the question of “who are we and who are them?” This talk will focus on the ways in which several countries in Latin America seek to identify the ethnic “Other” through a very particular institutional process, the construction of census categories. To what extent does naming the “Other” in official discourse become a controversial political and legal issue?
Victor Armony, Spring 2012 Canada–U.S. Fulbright Visiting Chair in Policy Studies, is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Observatory of the Americas at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM). He is the former editor in chief of the Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (2004-2011). His interests include Latin America, immigration, diversity, inequality, and Latinos in Canada. His publications include “The Challenge of Naming the Other in Latin America” (Identity Politics in the Public Realm: Bringing Institutions Back, University of British Columbia Press, 2011) and a forthcoming volume on cultural diversity, inequality, and democracy in Latin American (co-edited with Stéphanie Rousseau). He currently holds a 3-year grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to study the Latin American population in Canada.
For more information, contact Paloma Diaz.