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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Peasants of the Empire: rural schools and the colonial imaginary in 1930s French West Africa
Author:Gamble, HarryISNI
Periodical:Cahiers d'études africaines
Geographic term:French West Africa
Subjects:educational policy
rural areas
colonial economy
Abstract:During the Great Depression of the 1930s, authorities in French West Africa launched an ambitious programme of educational reform centred around 'rural schools'. These new schools were part of a broader effort to rethink African societies and their development within the colonial order. In his book 'Les Paysans noirs', colonial official and author R. Delavignette sought to encourage a more positive view of rural Africans that would appeal to French sensibilities. Neither assimilationist nor associationist, rural schools were designed to train a new generation of African 'peasants', who would embrace a dose of modernization while remaining deeply attached to their native soils. By promoting a new vision of 'l'Afrique paysanne', rural schools sought to limit the growth of urban populations and deflect attention from the demands of African workers and évolués. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]