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Which countries are included and excluded from “Latin America”
- Countries included: Territories colonized by Spain and Portugal.Countries south of the US where romance languages are spoken
- Countries excluded: Haiti, French Guyana, Belize, Suriname, English speaking islands in the caribbean
Some of the controversies are by the very name “Latin America”
- Presumes cultural, linguistic, or historical unity is the main way to classify these people
- Assumes that people in one country identify with another
- Nation states treated as “natural” units of difference.
- problematic bc it was inhabited before spain and portugal came. It was already home to other entities and empires such as aztecs, mayans, and incas. There's a diversity with different groups in this part of the world.
concept of nation state
- ☀is a question of power
- ☀There is nothing natural about states in Latin America (or elsewhere).
- ☀its a human invention and social construction
- ☀Nation-states attempt to unite their populations around common histories, languages, cultures
- ☀constructs national identities of who is a member– imposing elite ideas on previously-existing territories and populations.
For whom the term “Latin America” is useful
- people living outside of the region who acknowledge a “latin america” and sees their homeland and region in a new light. provides unitary feeling
- For left-leaning sectors that identify with anti-imperialist projects in the regional unity (e.g. The Bolivarian Revolution).
- For latin american scholars who need to identify the term with a specific area and people
The main argument from the Alvarez et.al. article about Latin America Studies
- grapples with cold war and us imperial roots
- a process of re-visioning latin america a region that the US (other areas) have sought to control; it is necessary to be critical
- in contemporary we should rethink how we approach Latin America and Latin American Studies as well as the external processes that happened overtime
Understand what it means to decenter Latin American Studies
- mainly US with their certain agendas
- mostly been white, male americans who have studied Latin America
- anthropological institute of latin america in US
- getting away from people who have power over research
- move beyond region proper.
concept of culture in contemporary anthropology
- Culture IS NOT geographically bounded, static and homogenous (alike)
- Culture is mobile, dynamic, heterogenous (diverse)