I have studied the self-representations and identity-management of young mulattos in Luanda, the capital of Angola, a Portuguese colony until 1975. By "mulattos" I refer to Angolans of mixed racial descent, i.e., Angolans of black Angolan and white Portuguese origins. My primary informants consisted of young people, between 20 and 35 years old, part of the socio-cultural elite in the capital. I have examined their socio-cultural discourse, i.e., a more or less common way of looking at the world, that I argue is based on their common historic cultural, political and socio-economic position, as an intermediary group during the colonial regime, and later as a national socio-cultural elite after Independence, which has experienced itself as increasingly marginalized politically by a black hegemony.
I have examined the material sides to the discourse, where the experiences of the "assimilation"-policies of the Portuguese colonial history have created internal cleavages in the African population, between the so-called "assimilated", i.e., the few that succeeded in acquiring the status as a Portuguese citizen, and the rest of the population (C. Neto 2000 b), where the mulattos experienced themselves as in an intermediary position, as the "stranger" of Simmel (1981). I look upon how this has contributed to the production and maintainance of the stereotypes on the racially mixed as the "privileged", and how the mulattos have developed a moral, cultural and socio-economic boundary-making, often seen as an elitist attitude by the black population. I describe how this illustrate the conflict between an old, racially and culturally mixed, elite with a certain socio-cultural capital, and a new black elite with rural origins, where my informants identify themselves with the former and concentrate much of their discourse on criticising and distancing themselves from the latter.