From Invisibility to Affirmative Action: Afro-Argentines in Contemporary Argentina
Luraschi, Estefania Andrea
This research studies the activities of Afro-Argentine organizations regarding affirmative action policy formulation in Argentina focusing on the context, key factors, developments, and opinions of the stakeholders. The study builds upon the hypothesis that current cultural activities and political pressure groups of the Afro Community in Buenos Aires, Argentina are lobbying for and having a positive effect on affirmative action policy planning in Argentina at the present time. Research on this topic is important not only for understanding how affirmative action gains importance on the public and government agendas in Argentina, but also in the broader context of political agenda setting and interest group agency, potentially for other Afro-descendant groups in the rest of Latin America and the world. The method rests on semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders and activists of the most important Afro-Argentine civil society organizations in Argentina, based in Buenos Aires city as well as suburban Buenos Aires. The Afro-Argentine community is achieving agenda setting and affirmative action policy formulation through seeking historical and cultural recognition, using opportunities that arise from globalization, the rise of multiculturalism and government openness, and employing cultural and rights-based approaches to position themselves. The study finds that, in spite of the group's invisibility, the state is appropriating the strategies and receiving affirmative action proposals in the form of compensatory policies, individual-type (antidiscrimination) and collective (upward mobility and equal opportunity) measures. Antidiscrimination measures and compensatory policies of recognition have been implemented; however there is no evidence of the existence of the more substantial "quota" collective-type policies. The organizations are in the process of proposing these. The research also finds that discrimination and whitening persist, and identifies tensions both in the definitions of a general Afro-Argentine identity and the debate over equality and difference by the Afro community in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Judging from proposals that have not yet made it onto the government agenda, and the stakeholders' pessimism and doubt on the successful passing of affirmative action policy, it remains unclear whether Argentina will move beyond recognition and antidiscrimination measures in the near future.
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Herrera, Sascha Carolina (Georgetown University, 2012)A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE AND EXCLUSION: AFRO-COLOMBIANS FROM SLAVERY TO DISPLACEMENT