Between Casta and Raza: the example of colonial Mexico

Lewis, Laura A. (2012) Between Casta and Raza: the example of colonial Mexico. In, Hering Torres, Max S., Martínez, María Elena and Nirenberg, David (eds.) Race and Blood in the Iberian World. Berlin, DE, Lit Verlag. (Racism Analysis - Series B: Yearbooks).


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Colonial Latin American individuals were legally and socially classified using a number of different terms that today we think of as ›racial‹. During the initial centuries of colonial rule, casta (caste) was among the most prominent of those terms. This chapter analyzes its significance from the late sixteenth to the late seventeenth centuries, a period during which the ›caste system‹ (sistema de castas) was most stable and widely used. Above all the chapter is concerned with the meaning of casta in context, and with the ways in which colonial subjects and colonial officials ›performed‹ it. Focusing principally on Mexico, the chapter concludes with thoughts as to how casta remains a figurative model for contemporary notions of raza (race).

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 9783643902597 (paperback)
364390259 (paperback)
Related URLs:
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Divisions : Faculty of Humanities > Modern Languages
ePrint ID: 343603
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
October 2012Published
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2012 14:44
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:35

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