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Science and Politics of Race in Mexico and the United States, 1910-1950$
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Karin Alejandra Rosemblatt

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469636405

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469636405.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 17 October 2019

Cultural and Economic Evolution, Pluralism, and Categorization in Mexico

Cultural and Economic Evolution, Pluralism, and Categorization in Mexico

Chapter:
(p.135) 4 Cultural and Economic Evolution, Pluralism, and Categorization in Mexico
Source:
Science and Politics of Race in Mexico and the United States, 1910-1950
Author(s):

Karin Alejandra Rosemblatt

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469636405.003.0005

This chapter shows that Mexican indigenistas eschewed grand theories and approached modernization within a framework that was local and empirical. As a Mexican socialism took hold in the 1930s, they increasingly placed economics and class—rather than ethnicity, culture, or race—at the center of national policies, and they accepted forms of cultural difference that they viewed as compatible with economic progress. Their approach to economics, however, was ethnographic, focusing on specific localities and insistently documenting experts’ inability to reach broader conclusions about the characteristics of the peoples they studied. Somewhat paradoxically, their approach was fundamentally evolutionary, and this chapter examines the complex ways indigenistas reconciled their belief in progress and science with attention to particularity, including strategies of compilation, categorization and taxonomy, and statistical aggregation.

Keywords:   Economics, Class, Progress, Empiricism, Ethnography, Locality, Evolution, Particularism, Compilation, Statistical aggregation, Taxonomy

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