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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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Race, Culture, and Class

(p.169) Conclusion
Science and Politics of Race in Mexico and the United States, 1910-1950

Karin Alejandra Rosemblatt

University of North Carolina Press

Picking up where the last chapter left off, this conclusion argues that economic and numerical criteria provided a way for Mexican scholars to create a presumably scientific yet flexible definition of race and indigeneity that allowed for social and racial mobility. Many U.S. scholars thought that their Mexican counterparts confused race and class. More broadly, Mexicans’ attention to particularity and their attempts to reconcile indigeneity with modernity and liberalism were a creative effort to generate new forms of governance and new policies. However, Mexican experts shared with their US counterparts problematic assumptions about progress and evolution that—along with US intellectual imperialism--hampered the antiracist potential of their endeavors. This Conclusion returns to the questions of difference and modern liberal democracy. Mexican intellectuals subsumed differences into global theories of evolution or cultural diffusion, it shows. But they could apply those global theories only loosely and partially. They therefore offered a practical or tactical definition of indigeneity aimed at guiding social policies and encouraging social mobility, especially economic mobility.

Keywords:   Social Class, Economic Mobility, Racial Mobility, Social Mobility, Categorization

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