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Skin Color, Race, and Nation in Latin America

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Latin America had held an extensive reputation as a racial democracy due to the region’s history of interracial relations between Europeans, Africans, and Indigenous populations. However, this reputation has been criticized for ignoring the region’s ethno-racial hierarchies and the presence of distinct ethno-racial groups such as Afro-descendants and indigenous groups. Using data from the AmericasBarometer and the Project on Race and Ethnicity and Latin America (PERLA), this research project examines how national pride varies by ethno-racial group and skin color in Latin America. Brazil, Colombia, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Bolivia, and the United States serve as my case studies. Ordinary least squares and logistic regressions are utilized for my analysis. My findings show few racial or skin-color effects on national pride in Latin America, with the exception of Brazil and Bolivia. However, perceived ethnic respect is related to national pride. Notably, those who disagreed that their country respected their ethnic identity showed lower levels of national pride compared to those who agreed. Thus, rather than simply identifying as an ethno-racial minority, actually experiencing a lack of ethnic respect may influence national pride attitudes. These findings challenge the assumption of social dominance theory in which being an ethno-racial minority should automatically result in less national pride. This research highlights the necessity to analyze perceived respect by ethnic groups when predicting senses of pride in the nation rather than rely on ethno-racial and skin color categorization.

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This item is under embargo until February 11, 2028.