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The Return of the Native: the indigenous challenge in Latin America

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The Return of the Native: the indigenous challenge in Latin America

In this paper Rodolfo Stavenhagen explores the evolution of indigenous movements in Latin America. Indigenous organisations have sprung up in their thousands since the 1960s and have become a new and formidable force for social and political change. Stavenhagen describes the factors which account for the rise of awareness within indigenous communities, such as disillusionment with the land reform and populist indigenista policies. He goes on to discuss the way in which small, grassroots organisations, concerned largely with specific socio-economic issues, have developed into large, country-wide coalitions calling for autonomy and self-determination. Although these movements have no universal ideology as such, Stavenhagen argues that the discourse created has changed both indigenous peoples' self-perception and the way in which they are viewed by the political elite both at home and abroad. Moreover, this, in time, and in tandem with the important constitutional and legislative changes already achieved, should encourage the intercultural mestizaje which he sees as the only means by which Indians and Ladinos can live on equal terms.

Stavenhagen, Rodolfo (2001) The Return of the Native: the indigenous challenge in Latin America. ISA Occasional Papers (27). ISSN 0953-6825

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Economics
Human Rights & Development Studies
Keywords: Latin America, indigenous, indigenous movements, politics, social change, mestizaje, intercultural
Divisions: Institute of Latin American Studies
Collections: ILAS Occasional Paper Series
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File size258kB
License termsAvailable to public