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For example, full-blooded siblings can often be classified as belonging to different races (Harris 1964).
For these reasons the distinction between "white" and "mixed", and between "mixed" and "black" and "indigenous", is largely subjective and situational, meaning that any attempt to classify by discrete racial categories is fraught with problems.
Alternately, in countries like Mexico and Brazil mixture has been emphasized as fundamental for nation-building, resulting in a large group of bi-racial mestizos, in Mexico, or tri-racial pardos, in Brazil, Unlike in the United States where ancestry may be used exclusively to define race, by the 1970s, Latin American scholars came to agree that race in Latin America could not be understood as the "genetic composition of individuals" but instead must be "based upon a combination of cultural, social, and somatic considerations".
...racial categories and racial ideologies are not simply those that elaborate social constructions on the basis of phenotypical variation or ideas about innate difference but those that do so using the particular aspects of phenotypical variation that were worked into vital signifiers of difference during European colonial encounters with others.
According to a survey conducted by Cohesión Social in Latin America, conducted on a sample of 10,000 people from seven different countries of the region, 34% of those interviewed identified themselves as white.
Being white is a term that emerged from a tradition of racial classification that developed as Europeans colonized large parts of the world and employed classificatory systems to distinguish themselves from the local inhabitants.
with the latter figure coming from a recent nationwide survey conducted by the Mexican government as a mean to address the problems of racism that Mexicans of mainly Indigenous or African ancestry suffer at hands of a society that favors light skinned, European looking Mexicans.
This survey constitutes the only official ethnographic field research published by Mexico's government that has acknowledged the country's Eurodescendant population in nearly a century.