Mexicans Versus Mexicans: Coping with Everyday Ethnic Discrimination

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 15:15
Location: Hörsaal 10 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Luz GALLEGOS, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Mexico
In Mexico, colonialism is still part of the national reality. Inheritance of the Spanish conquest, physical violence and verbal linked with membership to ethnic minority groups is part of everyday life. However, discrimination is between Mexicans: indigenous versus mestizos. From a qualitative approach and considering the theory of Axel Honneth about recognition to analyze the data, we conducted a study aimed at understanding the ways of coping used by indigenous children and adults to ethnic discrimination. Through interviews and focus groups, we observed that the way that children and adults use to define themselves, coincide with the ways that dominant group and the Mexican government have expressed about these social groups. One of the preliminary conclusions of this work (a doctoral thesis) is that the conditions for political resistance are very limited when silence and self-identification as a vulnerable group are coping strategies regularly used by indigenous people. Coping processes focused on the subject preclude understand that ethnic violence responds to social asymmetry conditions beyond cultural aspects. Ethnic differentiation (targeting) on social policy is artificial and only strengthen the collective struggle will make possible social transformation. Subjectivity is built through affirmative actions; this kind of social policy is complicit in ethnic discrimination in Mexico. Discussing this issue is a way of coping it. Silence is not the way to social change.