Turning Indios into Nationals. The Field of Indigenism in Brazil and Paraguay From the Beginning of the 19th to the End of the 20th Century
Indigenism is a particular Latin American version of cultural field (in Bourdieu's sense) whose various participants (most notably government agencies, missionaries, anthropologists, media people, members of non-governmental organizations, as well as political and religious leaders of indigenous communities) vie for the prerogative to determine and enforce a historically specific notion of “Indigenousness” as part of the process of defining the national self. This process includes, among other things, efforts to “convert” and incorporate indigenous population into national society in reference to four narratives: universalism, citizenship, ethnicity, and − beginning in the 1970s − the (frequently subversive) voice of indigenous peoples themselves. This article is a comparative analysis of this process in Brazil and Paraguay, in the period extending from the early 19th to the end of the 20th century.
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