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The Archaeology of EthnogenesisRace and Sexuality in Colonial San Francisco$
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Barbara L. Voss

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061252

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061252.001.0001

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The Limits of Ethnogenesis

The Limits of Ethnogenesis

(p.287) Conclusion The Limits of Ethnogenesis
The Archaeology of Ethnogenesis

Barbara L. Voss

University Press of Florida

Drawn into a web of nation building and empire, the Spanish-colonial settlers who established the Presidio of San Francisco in California were subjected to military and religious disciplines and transformed by their new roles and responsibilities. But the settlers were not simply passive cogs in a clockwork machinery of imperialism: they altered the very institutions that had enlisted them. Colonial ethnogenesis—the emergence and articulation of the shared identity, Californios—was one way that the military settlers transformed colonial systems of power. This study investigates the transformation of colonial identities on the micro-scale by closely examining archaeological and documentary evidence. The findings of this study have specific implications for historical, anthropological, and archaeological research on identity. While ethnogenesis provided the military settlers with some relief from Spanish-colonial racial hierarchies, in the end it did not protect them from discrimination after California’s annexation by the United States.

Keywords:   Spanish-colonial, ethnogenesis, presidio, identity, micro-scale, race, discrimination, power

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