Mestizo Genomics: Race Mixture, Nation, and Science in Latin America

Hardback
In genetics laboratories in Latin America, scientists have been mapping the genomes of local populations, seeking to locate the genetic basis of complex diseases and to trace population histories. As part of their work, geneticists often calculate the European, African, and Amerindian genetic ancestry of populations. Some researchers explicitly connect their findings to questions of national identity and racial and ethnic difference, bringing their research to bear on issues of politics and identity. Drawing on ethnographic research in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico, the contributors to Mestizo Genomics explore how the concepts of race, ethnicity, nation, and gender enter into and are affected by genomic research. In Latin America, national identities are often based on ideas about mestizaje (race mixture), rather than racial division. Since mestizaje is said to involve relations between European men and indigenous or African women, gender is a key factor in Latin American genomics and in the analyses in this book. Also important are links between contemporary genomics and recent moves toward official multiculturalism in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. One of the first studies of its kind, Mestizo Genomics sheds new light on the interrelations between race, identity, and genomics in Latin America. Contributors. Adriana Diaz del Castillo H., Roosbelinda Cardenas, Vivette Garcia Deister, Verlan Valle Gaspar Neto, Michael Kent, Carlos Lopez Beltran, Maria Fernanda Olarte Sierra, Eduardo Restrepo, Mariana Rios Sandoval, Ernesto Schwartz-Marin, Ricardo Ventura Santos, Peter Wade