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Procreation, Personhood and ethnic difference in Highland Bolivia

Canessa, A (1998) 'Procreation, Personhood and ethnic difference in Highland Bolivia.' Ethnos, 63 (2). 227 - 247. ISSN 0014-1844

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Academic debates on the difference between ‘indians’ and ‘non-indians’ in highland Latin America typically revolve around issues of race, ethnicity and class understood from an etic perspective. Although there may be a consensus as to where the boundary between one status and the other lies, how this boundary is understood varies dramatically between scholars, as well as between actors on each side of the boundary. This paper examines the identity of those denominated ‘indian’ from an emic perspective. It argues that ‘race’, ‘ethnicity'and ‘class’ are insufficient in themselves to explain this level of social difference. At the root of the difference between jaqi (indians) and q'ara (non-indians) are understandings of personhood. An examination of procreation beliefs and understandings of personhood sheds light on how identity is understood. The dyads indian/non-indian and jaqi/q'ara are not, of course, generated independently of each other and this paper also examines how the one articulates with the other. Although the category ‘indian’ is one imposed historically from outside, this does not preclude people's ability to generate a different understanding of that category from within. © Routledge, on licence from the National Museum of Ethnography. © 1998, Taylor and Francis Inc. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Elena Pupaza
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2014 15:45
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2019 06:15

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