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Revista signos

On-line version ISSN 0718-0934


MERINO, María  and  TOCORNAL, Ximena. Discursive positioning in the construction of ethnic identity among mapuche adolescents in Temuco and Santiago language. Rev. signos [online]. 2012, vol.45, n.79, pp.154-175. ISSN 0718-0934.

Studies on mapuche ethnic identity from a discursive perspective are still scarce in Chile. One of the relevant works on this area is that of Merino, Mellor, Saiz and Quilaqueo (2009) on the psychosocial effects of discrimination on mapuche individuals’ lives which revealed that there may be negative and also positive effects. Among the latter we highlight ethnic reaffirmation and the increase of self esteem, a process that starts within adolescence. This article describes the main discursive positionings that mapuche adolescents from Santiago and Temuco construct when they talk about their ethnic identity, and also the discursive strategies used for such purpose. The analysis based on Discursive Psychology (Edwards & Potter, 1992) reveals the essential categorizations, descriptions and attributions that youngsters hold to solve the dilemmatic tension of facing their ethnic identification in urban contexts. The main findings show that, ethnic identity is made through positioning as active or passive member of the culture, where the mapuche name, speaking the indigenous language and active participation in cultural rites are deployed as essentials of the mapuche being.

Keywords : Ethnic identity, discursive positioning, urban mapuche adolescents.

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