Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

First Advisor

Jeffrey Jackson

Relational Format



SEDERIA NATASHA GRAY: The Political Mobilization of Afro-Ecuadorians: A comparison to the United States and Brazil (Under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Jackson)

In this thesis, I will use the theory of political mobilization in Brazil by Edward Telles. Telles argues that skin color, social class and residential concentration are the three main factors in politically mobilizing a community. When there is one, distinct race (skin color) and/ or social class political mobilization is high. Telles argues that skin color is an ethnic identity marker that causes political mobilization. In the case ofsocial class in Brazil, Telles argues that groups will politically mobilized based on class and not necessarily race. He uses the labor movement in Brazil as an example of a diverse group mobilizing for recognition. Because the majority of Brazilians in lower classes are black, social class can be beneficial to the Afro Brazilian community in political mobilization because they have a common factor. In relations to residential concentration, high segregation and marginalization result in high political mobilization. The opposite ofthese conclusions lead to low political mobilization because ofthe lack of a common ethnic identity. Telles compares the North American and Brazilian cases to argue his theory. The North American case exemplifies how segregation and marginalization leads to high political mobilization. The Brazilian case illustrates how diverse communities are more likely not to politically mobilize because ethnic groups are dispersed.

I will use this theory and apply my knowledge and experience in Ecuador to perform an analysis on the situation in Ecuador. Ecuador has many factors that directly correlate with Brazil such as skin color, but on the other hand, Ecuador’s residential concentration correlates more with the North American case. Throughout this thesis, I will compare and contrast the different affects ofthese factors on North America, Brazil and Ecuador. Then, I will make a summary of what I believe will be the effects ofthese factors on the Ecuadorian case.

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