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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'The men seldom suffer a woman to sit down': the historical development of the stereotype of the 'lazy African'
Author:Rönnbäck, KlasISNI
Year:2014
Periodical:African Studies (ISSN 1469-2872)
Volume:73
Issue:2
Pages:211-227
Language:English
Geographic term:West Africa
Subjects:Africans
Europeans
stereotypes
social history
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/00020184.2014.921368
Abstract:This article studies the historical development of the racist stereotype of the 'lazy African' in the early modern period, specifically looking at how Europeans explained the stereotype. Previous research has argued that the stereotype can be explained either by its function as way of justifying labour coercion such as slavery, or as a consequence of an idea of a 'tropical exuberance' in West Africa. In this article, it is argued that previous research on this topic largely has missed what perhaps was the most important factor, suggested already by Ester Boserup (1970): that the gendered division of labour present in precolonial West Africa, which was unfamiliar to the European observers in many ways, was crucial for the rise of the stereotype. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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