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Black is Beautiful or White is Right?: Local and Global Discourses of Whiteness, Blackness and Beauty in Peru

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Abstract:

The ethnographic and interview data presented in this paper allow us to examine how local notions of blackness, whiteness, and beauty in Peru are influenced by, but not determined by, national and global discourses of blackness, whiteness, and beauty. Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork and interviews, I argue that the residents of a primarily black village in Northern Peru have been affected by images of white success and beauty, but have not fully embraced them. Villagers have molded these standards to fit the particularities of their situation, and thus have developed a disdain for certain types of whiteness, but also an appreciation of brown skin and curly hair and a preference for whitening through intermarriage. The findings presented in this paper resonate with other work on globalization that reminds us that we are living in an increasingly interconnected global system, and that while local cultures are resilient, global processes are important in shaping local meanings. Competing representations of blackness and whiteness arrive in this town and are digested by people in different ways. This chapter reveals the complex nature of this intersection of the local and the global, and of the power of people to utilize discursive strategies in ways that make sense to them.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

black (153), white (121), peopl (87), ingenio (84), serrano (57), beauti (54), skin (47), would (46), look (41), women (39), o (36), telenovela (35), perla (33), peru (32), told (31), discours (31), global (31), roc (30), villag (30), also (30), que (29),

Author's Keywords:

blackness, beauty, globalization, local, race, ethnicity, Peru, ethnography
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Name: American Sociological Association
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MLA Citation:

Golash-Boza, Tanya. "Black is Beautiful or White is Right?: Local and Global Discourses of Whiteness, Blackness and Beauty in Peru" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, TBA, New York, New York City, Aug 11, 2007 <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p182627_index.html>

APA Citation:

Golash-Boza, T. M. , 2007-08-11 "Black is Beautiful or White is Right?: Local and Global Discourses of Whiteness, Blackness and Beauty in Peru" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, TBA, New York, New York City Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p182627_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: The ethnographic and interview data presented in this paper allow us to examine how local notions of blackness, whiteness, and beauty in Peru are influenced by, but not determined by, national and global discourses of blackness, whiteness, and beauty. Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork and interviews, I argue that the residents of a primarily black village in Northern Peru have been affected by images of white success and beauty, but have not fully embraced them. Villagers have molded these standards to fit the particularities of their situation, and thus have developed a disdain for certain types of whiteness, but also an appreciation of brown skin and curly hair and a preference for whitening through intermarriage. The findings presented in this paper resonate with other work on globalization that reminds us that we are living in an increasingly interconnected global system, and that while local cultures are resilient, global processes are important in shaping local meanings. Competing representations of blackness and whiteness arrive in this town and are digested by people in different ways. This chapter reveals the complex nature of this intersection of the local and the global, and of the power of people to utilize discursive strategies in ways that make sense to them.

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