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Year of Graduation


Document Type



International Studies

Directing Professor

Professor Bohland


This thesis pertains to the conflicting relationship of the Chilean state and the Mapuche people; more specifically, how the prevailing conflicts between the two can be traced to the supposedly benign notion of unity, although within different contexts. What proves even more intriguing is another commonality that lies behind the commonality of unity: survival. These two concepts start to unravel the myths left behind both enduring and antithetic narratives, myths that claim an “other” as the infinite enemy, so to speak.

This thesis explores how the construction of identity diverts and/or interacts with distinctive spheres—such as nationalism identities and indigenous identities—and the overall power relationship in Chile that stems from supposed hierarchical identities. The main question that I propose in this thesis is: how can both the state and indigenous narratives of unity be witnessed and comprehended by all parties, so as to stop this destructive cycle with no end?

My objective is to illustrate that the two distinctive identities (state national identity and indigenous identity), these conflicting narratives, do share an ubiquitous commonality, and that continuing with a prolonged battle between the two would prove more self-destructive on both ends, if an in depth analysis of their narratives is not executed, and appreciation of their similarities and depth in identity is not found.