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Enfermería: Cuidados Humanizados

Print version ISSN 1688-8375On-line version ISSN 2393-6606


CHOQUE-CASERES, Dante. The indigenous identity interpreted as a category of analysis in population studies. Enfermería (Montevideo) [online]. 2017, vol.6, n.spe, pp.95-104. ISSN 1688-8375.

Summary: In Latin America, based on the recognition of Indigenous Peoples, the identification of gaps or disparities between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous population has emerged as a new research interest. To this end, capturing Indigenous identity is key to conducting certain analyses. However, the social contexts where the identity of Indigenous persons are (re)produced has been significantly altered. These changes are generated by the assimilation or integration of Indigenous communities into dominant national cultures. Within this context, limitations emerge in the use of this category, since Indigenous identity has a political and legal component related to the needs of the government. Therefore, critical thought on the use of Indigenous identity is necessary in an epistemological and methodological approach to research.

This article argues that research about Indigenous Peoples should evaluate how Indigenous identity is included, for it is socially co-produced through the interaction of the State and its institutions. Thus, it would not necessarily constitute an explicative variable. By analyzing the discourse about Aymara Indigenous communities that has emerged in the northern border of Chile, this paper seeks to expose the logic used to define identity. Therefore, I conclude that the process of self-identification arises in supposed Indigenous people, built and/or reinforced by institutions, which should be reviewed from a decolonizing perspective and included in comparative research.

Keywords : Indigenous; identity; census.

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