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About this product
- DescriptionRelated black communities claim different ethracial identities based in laws. Anthropologists widely agree that identities - even ethnic and racial ones - are socially constructed. Less understood are the processes by which social identities are conceived and developed. Legalizing Identities shows how law can successfully serve as the impetus for the transformation of cultural practices and collective identity. Through ethgraphic, historical, and legal analysis of successful claims to land by two neighboring black communities in the backlands of rtheastern Brazil, Jan Hoffman French demonstrates how these two communities have come to distinguish themselves from each other while revising and retelling their histories and present-day stories.The invocation of laws by these related communities led to the emergence of two different identities: one indigeus (Xoco Indian) and the other quilombo (descendants of a fugitive African slave community). With the help of the Catholic Church, government officials, lawyers, anthropologists, and activists, each community won government recognition and land rights, and displaced elite landowners. The positive outcome of their claims demonstrates that authenticity is t a prerequisite for identity. French draws from this insight a more sweeping conclusion that, far from being evidence of inauthenticity, processes of construction form the basis of all identities and may have important consequences for social justice.
- Author BiographyJAN HOFFMAN FRENCH is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Richmond. Before becoming an anthropologist, she practiced law.
- Author(s)Jan Hoffman French
- PublisherThe University of North Carolina Press
- Date of Publication15/06/2009
- SubjectSociology & Anthropology: Professional
- Place of PublicationChapel Hill
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintThe University of North Carolina Press
- Content Note18 illustrations, 2 maps, notes, bibl., index
- Weight408 g
- Width156 mm
- Height235 mm
- Spine23 mm
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