The discursive detachment of race from gentrification in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

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In this article, I provide an ethnographic account of the gentrification process and its relationship to race and racism in the community of Getsemaní in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. I introduce Racial Attachment Processes as a conceptual framework for understanding how individuals reconcile Latin American discourses that suggest that race is not a primary stratifying principle with the material spatial realities of racial hierarchies that counter such discourses. Drawing on ethnographic participant observation and semi-structured interviews, including those employing photo-elicitation, I demonstrate how people discursively mobilize race in everyday life, yet selectively detach race in ways that allow them to interpret processes of gentrification as untethered to their racial underpinnings. This paper ultimately demonstrates how the discursive detachment of race from understandings of Colombian socio-spatial, political and economic relations obscures the relationship between racial domination and social inequality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1235-1254
Number of pages20
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 28 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Afro-Latinos
  • Colombia
  • Race and ethnicity
  • gentrification
  • racial attachment processes
  • racialization


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