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Interdependent Inequalities

Inequality research in and on Latin America reflects the tremendous political and social significance the issue of inequality has in the region. To study contemporary inequalities, it is necessary to expand on the commonly accepted nation-state based criteria and thus the analytical framework informing the definition of inequality and the majority of the sociological and economic approaches relating to it. Globalization processes have made the nation-state framework of analysis no longer adequate. It is necessary to elucidate how the interdependent nature of social inequalities has been shaped historically and to show that social inequalities are part of an ‘interwoven story’ of modernity in which, for several centuries, the colonial systems linked together the production of social inequalities in Europe with other regions of the world. As part of the historic process of interdependency between Europe and the ‘rest’ of the world, dominant constructions of masculinity and femininity and ethnic and ‘racial’ categories – which are likewise examined in this field of research – emerged at the same time.