Afro-Ecuadorian Responses to Racism: Between Citizenship and Corporatism

  • Carlos de la Torre

Abstract

This chapter examines Afro-Ecuadorians’ responses to racism, and the impact of their strategies on the democratization of society, Unlike in the United States, where African Americans have used their citizenship rights to resist discrimination (Feagin and Sikes, 1994), in Ecuador, as in most Latin American nations, citizenship is weak and common people use strategies based on paternalism and corporatism to negotiate access to resources from which they are excluded, Whereas paternalist relationships protect a group or a family from some of the major injustices, they do not allow actors to conceptualize domination in structural terms. Paternalist arrangements favor individual accommodation over the collective struggle for citizenship. Under corporatism the leaders of subaltern groups are incorporated into the state, becoming intermediaries who transfer resources to their constituencies, Corporatist processes of inclusion allow for the social mobility of the leadership of subaltern groups. However, they do not always result in the reduction of structural inequality between groups, Moreover, unlike the struggle for citizenship that is based on universalistic conceptualizations of rights, corporatist demands are particularistic and can easily be co-opted into a zero-sum struggle for limited state resources.

Keywords

Migration Mold Rubber Income Assure 

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© Anani Dzidzienyo and Suzanne Oboler 2005

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  • Carlos de la Torre

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