Racist discourse in Chile and Peru during the War of the Pacific (1879-1884)

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Arellano González, Juan
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ESTUDOS IBERO-AMERICANOS,Vol.38,239-264,2012
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Abstract
War is a transcendent moment in the history of nations. This article examines the subjective perceptions that define the moral reality of war. To this effect, it focuses on the belligerent discourse used in Chile and Peru during the War of the Pacific. These are considered cultural artifacts that furnished meaning to the conflict itself. The hypothesis posits the existence of a racist discourse predicated upon the historical and ideological realities of the time. The speeches underscore the images of the Chilean 'roto' and the Peruvian cholo', which constitute national icons used to homogenize and exacerbate key qualities of the peoples in conflict. This study draws upon an analytical approach that studies political discourse and focuses on the context within which it was formulated and reformulated. The article draws upon newspapers and the political proclamations of the period as the primary source material.
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