Anthropologist and sociologist Jacques Audinet proposes an alternative to culture wars and simple multiculturalism as he explores the history and evolution of mestizaje, the mixing of races and cultures resulting in a third and new force able to ease the tensions between the original two. Audinet reviews the tragic history of imperial and colonial conquests and traces the growth of mestizaje, especially stimulated by literature, music and sports. Audinet argues that, instead of chasing or preserving the illusion of "pure" races, we need to face the shifting boundaries of peoples and cultures. He acknowledges the uncertainty of the changes, but emphasizes the essential role that mestizaje can play in the avoidance of racial and cultural clashes while pursuing equality as part of the promise of a democratic society.
Jacques Audinet is Professor Emeritus in Anthropology at the University of Metz and l'Institut Catholique de Paris. He has taught in the United States, Canada and Latin America and remains involved with the Mexican American Cultural Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Chapter 1 Introduction: Encounters... Chapter 2 Chapter I: Diversity, Geography, Cultures Part 3 In the Beginning was Geography Part 4 Cultural Indicators Part 5 Culture & Modernity Chapter 6 Chapter II: From Multicultural to Mestizaje Part 7 Recognizing Differences Part 8 Beyond Multiculturalism Part 9 What about Mestizaje? Chapter 10 Chapter III: The Vocabulary of Mestizaje Part 11 The Vocabulary of Marginality Part 12 The Scale of Colors Part 13 From Contempt to Recognition Chapter 14 Chapter IV: Mestizaje Recognized Part 15 Inescapable Diversity Part 16 A Desired Totality Part 17 Between Body and Dream Chapter 18 Chapter V: A (Hi)Story of Desire and Violence Part 19 The Flesh of Empires Part 20 Legendary Figures Part 21 The Labyrinth of Contradiction Chapter 22 Chapter VI: Democracy: Rupture and Turning Point Part 23 Mestizaje Doesn't Exist: Cornelius de Pauw Part 24 Inegalitarian Mestizaje: Arthur de Gobineau Part 25 Liberty Protests: Alexis de Tocqueville Chapter 26 Chapter VII: The Transformation of Bonds Part 27 Shifting Boundaries Part 28 Binary or Ternary Dialogue Part 29 The In-Between Zones Chapter 30 Chapter VIII: Symbology Shattered Part 31 Nebulous Images Part 32 The Body at Stake Part 33 Reinvention at Work Chapter 34 Chapter IX: A Memory with a Future Part 35 Vasconcelos, or Cosmic Utopia Part 36 A Profound Reversal Part 37 The Future's Unpredictable Element Chapter 38 Conclusion: A Paradigm for Humanity