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Socio-economic status and group belonging: evidence from early nineteenth-century Colonial West Africa

Galli, Stefania (2021) Socio-economic status and group belonging: evidence from early nineteenth-century Colonial West Africa. Social Science History. ISSN 0145-5532 (In Press)

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Abstract

This study provides a novel analysis of occupational stratification in Sierra Leone from a historical perspective. By employing census data for early nineteenth century colonial Sierra Leone, the present study offers a valuable snapshot of a colony characterized by a heterogenous population of indigenous and migratory origin. The study shows that an association between colonial group categorization and socio-economic status existed despite the colony being of very recent foundation implying a hierarchical structure of the society. Although Europeans and ‘mulattoes’ occupied most high-status positions, as common in the colonies, indigenous immigrants were also represented in high socio-economic strata thanks to the opportunities stemming from long- and short- distance trading. On the other hand, later arrivals, especially liberated slaves, belonged within the lowest socioeconomic strata of the society and worked as farmers or unskilled labour, suggesting that the time component may also have influence socio-economic opportunities.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/social-sci...
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income, and Wealth > N37 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income and Wealth: Africa; Oceania
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2021 11:51
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2021 01:05
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/112147

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