HISTORICAL AND POLITICAL INFLUENCES ON MODERN DEBATES: AFFIRMATIVE ACTIONS IN POSTCOLONIAL LATIN AMERICA
Degree awarded: M.A. School of International Service. American University This thesis is a comparative analysis and discussion of affirmative action(s) for underrepresented groups in Brazil, Cuba, and Ecuador, with particular attention being paid to afro-descendants. Despite shared identities as Latin American countries, the aforementioned countries have responded differently to discussions around affirmative action policies in their respective countries because of a difference in social consciousness influenced by historical events and political ideologies. This difference in social consciousness can be seen to emerge at critical junctures -- colonization and slavery, freedom movements, questioning political sovereignty and stability -- which have shaped present-day identity politics. The differences seen here among countries once political linked and now economically linked can hopefully engender an appreciation for differences in identity and racial politics seen elsewhere and provide a serious discussion for how to address racial inequality.