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Willing Migrants : Soninke Labor Diasporas, 1848-1960, Hardback Book

Willing Migrants : Soninke Labor Diasporas, 1848-1960 Hardback

Part of the Western African Studies series


Eighty-five percent of Black African migrants to France come from a single ethnic group in a single region of West Africa.

The Soninke have the oldest tradition of labor migration within Africa and were also probably the first itinerant traders of West Africa; an important proportion continue to be merchants today. The first major study of the Soninke labor migration within Africa and to France, Willing Migrants is based upon critical analysis of French precolonial and colonial records and oral interviews with Soninke migrants.

Francois Manchuelle shows that these migrations were driven by a search for improved economic conditions and that these labor movements have a great deal in common with European and American migrations. The empirical evidence runs sharply contrary to the theoretical arguments common in the Africanist literature that have stressed the role of the colonial state in forcing migration through coercive violence and taxation.

Providing a vital link between African Studies and the study of labor migrations around the world, Willing Migrants marks a major advance in Africanist labor migration literature and should initiate new lines of historical inquiry and set off wide-ranging debate.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Social & cultural history
  • ISBN: 9780821412015

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