The consequences of marginalized ethnic group emancipation for historically privileged groups are rarely examined, despite assertions that the disruption of traditional power balances leads to backlash. This paper addresses identity change in a ‘most probable case’ of intergroup threat, examining reactions to indigenous empowerment in Bolivia. After translating theory on identity change into testable implications, it explores meso-level rhetoric of the Santa Cruz Autonomy movement through diverse sources and micro-level identification through time-series survey data. It finds evidence for the constructionist power of discourse: its ability to create societal consensus on collective identity in a relatively short time span.
- SPAIS Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship
- political discourse