Embodying National Identities: mestizo Men and White Women in Ecuadorian Racial-National Imaginaries



This article examines the connections between national identity, gender and racialized subjects in contemporary Ecuador. It focuses on the expressions of national identity among low-income urban residents in Quito, capital of Ecuador, and their engagement with the racialization of national identities. Evidence is provided to show that the racialization of national identities is significantly gendered, resulting in women and men claiming different racial-national identities for themselves. While racial-national ideologies promoting racial mixing (mestizaje) are well-known in Latin America, the ways in which gendered subjects identify themselves within such narratives has not previously been analysed. The paper concludes that differential national identities relate to spatial and gendered inscription by Ecuadorian nationalism's narratives and social relations.