Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Chicano Studies

Reader 1

Miguel Tinker Salas

Reader 2

Martha Gonzalez

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Rights Information

© 2016 Elisa Gomez


To challenge the dominant Mexican narrative of racial democracy that traditionally invisibilizes and delegitimizes those who have been affected by racism, it is imperative to deconstruct the discourse on mestizaje as a central component of Mexican national identity. The notion of México as a racial democracy is accepted throughout México, and is most evident in the nation’s culture and politics. To acknowledge that racism exists in México is essential, since it is impossible to work with a claim that people do not see, dismiss, or do not believe exists. Mestizaje has long been the promise of racial equality, but this uncritical and unexamined positioning of mestizaje ignores or trivializes the colonial and present day baggage that accompanies the term. The uncritical celebration of mestizaje needs to be supplanted with a reexamination of colonialism and capitalism, both of which influenced ideological theories and racial formation from the late sixteenth century through the twentieth century in the Americas.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.