ISBN: 9781592216475

This book is about a little known branch of the African Diaspora—Afro-Mexicans. It discusses their conditions of arrival and establishment in Mexico within the context of Spanish colonialism, and the race-based socio-economic hierarchy known as sistema de castas which provided a basis for the contemporary socioracial terms that are the focus of the main study: indio, blanco, negro and moreno. Today, these terms are used ubiquitously in variable ways as tags of social identity in Mexican discourse. An ethnographic sketch of a representative Afro-Mexican community located in the state of Guerrero then provides a setting for the analysis of their contemporary uses. These are then tied to concepts of “race” and identity in Mexico, all within the wider context of modern global Diaspora formations.

Employing standard methods of discourse analysis, the author performs a close, intersubjective study of transcribed, naturally occurring language data (with interlineal translations) such as conversational samples, oral narratives, arrival myths, legends, corridos, and popular literature comics, to demonstrate how socio-racial terms are used as “footing” devices (Goffman 1981). While local meanings appear to be informed by a social context confined to a particular speech community, they can also be linked to wider domains of talk, thus highlighting differences between mainstream and local communicative functions. Data from popular literature starkly illustrate this gap, and also how racism is reproduced in everyday talk at the national level.

Product details

  • Publisher : Africa Research & Publications (November 27, 2008)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 276 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1592216471
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1592216475
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