Friday, October 8, 2010

The Limits of Racial Domination: Plebeian Society in Colonial Mexico City, 1660-1720 by Douglas Cope

Why can historians not seem to keep their book titles succinct? Cope had a really fascinating take on the racial politics of colonial Mexico City. Basically, he argues that the plebeian subculture limited Hispanic ability to control castas (racial mixed people) through racial ideology. Race had real meaning because it delineated individuals' social networks, but "passing" as another casta group was only an issue if one was trying to break into the closed world of the Hispanic elite.

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