• Degrees of Mixture, Degrees of Freedom: Genomics, Multiculturalism, and Race in Latin America

    Pages: 344
    Illustrations: 12 illustrations
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
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  • Preface  vii
    Acknowledgments  xi
    Introduction. Mixture as a Biological Process  1
    I. Purity and Mixture
    1. Purity and Mixture in Human Population Genetics  27
    2. From Eugenics to Blood Types  53
    II. Genetics and Multiculturalism
    3. Changing Practices  85
    4. Colombia, Country of Regions  99
    5. Brazil, Race, and Affirmative Action  122
    6. Mexico, Public Health, and State Genomics  146
    7. Genomics & Multiculturalism: Comparisons and Continuities  166
    III. Narrating Mixture
    8. Gender, Genealogy, and Mestizaje  191
    9. The Geneticization of Race and Diversity in Everyday Life 223
    Conclusion  258
    Notes  267
    References  273
    Index  315
  • "This bold comparative study of the complex intersectionality of mestizo nationalisms offers a persuasive and sophisticated analysis of racialization and de-racialization as forms of identity, power, and aspiration. Meticulously charting the ambivalent meanings of race, Peter Wade also tracks their continuous connection to hierarchies of status and ancestry in a comparative study that opens up important new approaches to genomics as both professional science and everyday life." — Sarah Franklin, author of Biological Relatives: IVF, Stem Cells, and the Future of Kinship

    "Degrees of Mixture, Degrees of Freedom is an incisive and sophisticated work by an accomplished scholar of race and genetics in the Americas. Peter Wade examines the stakes in construing or imagining mestizaje to be an antidote to racial divisions, while also surveying the ranges of its actual rates of occurrence among the distinct continental populations that were thrown together through European colonization of the Americas. This impressively written book will be well received and well read." — John Hartigan Jr., author of Race in the 21st Century: Ethnographic Approaches

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  • Description

    Race mixture, or mestizaje, has played a critical role in the history, culture, and politics of Latin America. In Degrees of Mixture, Degrees of Freedom, Peter Wade draws on a multidisciplinary research study in Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia. He shows how Latin American elites and outside observers have emphasized mixture's democratizing potential, depicting it as a useful resource for addressing problems of racism (claiming that race mixture undoes racial difference and hierarchy), while Latin American scientists participate in this narrative with claims that genetic studies of mestizos can help isolate genetic contributors to diabetes and obesity and improve health for all. Wade argues that, in the process, genomics produces biologized versions of racialized difference within the nation and the region, but a comparative approach nuances the simple idea that highly racialized societies give rise to highly racialized genomics. Wade examines the tensions between mixture and purity, and between equality and hierarchy in liberal political orders, exploring how ideas and scientific data about genetic mixture are produced and circulate through complex networks.

    About The Author(s)

    Peter Wade is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester and the author and editor of many books, including Mestizo Genomics, also published by Duke University Press, and Race: An Introduction.
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