Degrees of Mixture, Degrees of Freedom is an invaluable resource on the topic of race mixture for race scholars and Latin Americanists alike. Indeed, race mixture (mestizaje in Spanish-speaking Latin America and mestiçagem in Brazil) has been central to Latin American history, culture, and politics. The United States implemented legalized racial segregation, including antimiscegenation legislation. The country clearly distinguished whites from nonwhites and historically never formally recognized mixed-race individuals. By contrast, Latin America has been characterized by extensive miscegenation and has designated individuals as white, mixed race, black, or Native American (indigenous). Categories of racial difference between white and nonwhite are relative, representing, nevertheless, the positive and negative extremes, respectively, on a continuum in which physical appearance combined with class and cultural factors, rather than ancestry as in the United States, has determined one's race and place in the hierarchy.

Yet...

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