Using accounts of militant schoolteachers from a province in the central sierra of Peru, this article attempts to show how and why concepts of race and political commitment among teachers changed at three critical moments in Peruvian history: agrarian reform, mass unionisation, and Maoist insurgency. The article explores how binary representations of race as mestizo or Indian, mestizo or cholo, were both formed and challenged by everyday experience of teachers as well as their political action. Their reactions to, and negotiation of, racial ascription are framed within three fields of power: racialised social identities, processes of state formation and opportunities and repertoire of contestatory politics.
- Peruvian Andes
- Sendero Luminoso