Strategies of dealing with the other: Coexistence and exclusion

Glenn Bowman


The specific character of Ortiz’s theory of transculturation is dependent on the Cuban context in which, and for which, it was elaborated. This article, opening with a sketch of Ortiz’s place of upbringing, Menorca, as a site of brutal struggles for identity hegemony over centuries, looks at the Mediterranean context of intercommunal mixing and antagonism, arguing that rather than an ajiaco (stew) it is a field of contest wherein the coexistence of pre-existing identities depend on fragile strategies of accommodation and “making way” but where often contact with alterity results in antagonistic struggles to neutralize the impact of the other.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/713373