Afro-Ecuadorian Studies

Authored by: John Antón Sánchez

Routledge Handbook of Afro-Latin American Studies

Print publication date:  November  2022
Online publication date:  November  2022

Print ISBN: 9780367691431
eBook ISBN: 9781003159247
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter reviews the perspectives of Afro-descendant studies in Ecuador. Since colonial times and slavery, Afro-descendants have played an important role in the country’s national society, currently encompassing 7% of the population and found mainly in the large cities of Guayaquil and Quito, in addition to historical settlements denominated “ancestral territories” in the province of Esmeraldas and Valle del Chota in the north of the country. Since the late nineteenth century, when the nation-state was founded, the social sciences began examining the phenomenon of the African diaspora in an attempt to determine their place in a society characterized by miscegenation, White racial domination, and discrimination against racialized human groups. Although the field of Afro-descendant studies in Ecuador is not very fertile compared to Colombia, Brazil, or Cuba, anthropological, sociological, historical, and political economy studies have experienced a moderate development. Since the 1990s, when the Afro-Ecuadorian movement emerged in force, various researchers have increased studies on key issues such as poverty, inequality, and exclusion, in addition to violations of the territory and the lack of state guarantees for the fulfillment of citizens’ rights. These issues constitute factors that draw attention to the research agendas of Afro-Ecuadorian studies, especially from disciplines such as economics, political science, anthropology, and sociology. The chapter aims to present the state of the academic discussion and address the methodologies and epistemic challenges faced, seeking directions for future research.

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