Changes in UDC
I write down the most important changes, and some reasons....
Original: (=088) Mixed race. Hybrid. Half-caste. Mulatto.
Now: (=088) Mixed race
From a biological point of view, “hybrid” is the offspring of different species or even genus. When eventually refered to the same species (as in human case), the term is used in plants and animals (= crossbreeds). A linguistical analysis of the term reveals that the word´s acestor, latin “hybrida”, means “the offspring of tame sow and wild boar”. Dictionaries and encyclopedias signal that “hybrid” is “a derived from incongruous sources or parts” (e.g. monsters like centaurs or chimeras) or animals/plants of mixed parentages (e.g. mongrels). Anthropological sources never use this word seriously: when used, is applied for insulting individuals or human groups (specially in evolutionist texts).
This term should be specifically used in biological contexts, avoiding its employ in anthropological or ethnical contexts, for it is not appropriate and its meaning is not pertinent.
The term “Half caste” is used to describe people of mixed racial backgrounds, such as children of black African and white European parentage (“mulatto”) or Native American and white European parentage (“half-breed”). These terms are impolite and potentially offensive, as the words have been used pejoratively in the past to ostracize and isolate the offspring of such unions. E.g.. “children of the plantations” (African-American slaves and white European masters in US Southern States) were not accepted as heirs and the relationship was never acknowledged; “half-caste” conveyed the deliberate exclussion. “Mulatto” and others spanish terms (Mestizo, Zambo, Morisco, Pardo, Zambaigo, Cholo, Chino, Castizo, Calpamulato), dutch terms (Indo, in Netherlands Indonesia), english, portuguese (Caboclo, Cafuzo) or french words (Métis, Affranchi) had the same negative consequences.
These terms are also associated with “One-Drop Rule” (Anglo-American tradition where any person with any amount of African blood is also deemed to be black) or with “Cuadros de Castas” on Spanish Colonial America, which depicted the colour of the skin of the different percenteages of mixed-blood individuals.
The terms should be avoided, for they have negative historical / social connotations.
Original: (=1-86) “Race in convencional sense. Racial affinity in relation to nationality. Naturalized, non-indingenous nationals”
Now: Deleted, cross-reference to (-054.52), “Allocthonous inhabitants”.
References to allocthonous and indigenous peoples are made clear through these changes. The original, complex and confusing term has been deleted.
Original: (=1-5) “Colonial races & peoples”
Now: Deleted, cross-references to (316.323.8) (“Colonial and neocolonial societies”), (1-52) and (325) (“Opening up of territories. Colonization”).
“Colonial races” do not exist. There is not a “race” born under colonial power. “Colonial peoples” are populations under colonial domination.
If the feature of “colonial power” is meant to be underlined, represented or classified, then the term belongs to other category (politics, maybe), but not to ethnical or anthropological category. If the term “colonial races” is meant to designate the offspring of dominators and dominated individuals in colonial territories, the code (=088) should be used. “Colonial peoples” underlines the domination of colonial powers, as far as they were native peoples dominated by foreign forces: new races born during colonial domination did not exist. Therefore, this is a term with negative connotations: the idea can be accurately expressed by the association of “natives peoples” with “colonial regime”.
The term (=1-5) should be avoided, for it does not express an ethnical / anthropological / racial feature, but a political or historical (negative) situation.
Original: (=081), “Primitive races and peoples”, (=083), “Developing peoples” and (=084), “Highly-developed peoples”.
Now: Deleted, cross-reference to (1-77) “Economic inequalities”.
The reasons for this change are expressed in the article “Primitive peoples, civilized peoples : Ideologies underlying documental languages”, which can be accessed freely through E-LIS Archives (http://eprints.rclis.org/archive/00004368).
Original: Example in (=054.57).
Now: Example deleted.
Original: (-054.62) “Resident aliens. Naturalizad citizens”
Now: The example (“Naturalizad citizens”) passed to (-054.52), “Allocthonous inhabitants”.
As pointed above (Change 02), the references to allocthonous and indigenous peoples are made clear through these changes.
I believe that, for “underdeveloped” and “non dominant societies” –as we are sometimes labeled- these changes demonstrate us that the dominant ideologies and speeches can be slowly and patiently changed. I guess that we will go on being who we are, and that we will go on performing our (sometimes poor) role in this world masquerade. But I realize that we never wanted to be in the point and in the place where we are right now. And I know that we can change this. We should. Maybe these kind of actions (like mine, in a little scale) could be repeated, in a future, by a good number of colleagues all around the world. And I am sure that it will allow a change. At least, a change in the ideas and in the mental images, which sometimes are more powerful than reality.