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This essay is a contribution to the discussion of the conflict that often exists between legal norms and legal practice in Latin America. It examines the conflict between equality under the law as a legal and constitutional norm in Latin America and the persistence of strong inequality as a social reality in Latin America. The essay examines this tension through a look at recent Latin American legal historiography. Essays include issues of race, class and the law in the nineteenth century Brazilian Empire, race and the law in early 20th century Cuba and Brazilian labor law in the middle and latter part of the 20th century.

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GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 255; GWU Law School Public Law Working Paper No. 255

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