Chapter

The Spaces of Dispersion

Stéphane Dufoix

in Diasporas

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780520253599
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941298 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520253599.003.0003
The Spaces of Dispersion

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To be inactive is a recent development in human history. For thousands of years, hunting, agriculture, and pastoralism were nomadic activities. The growth of boats gradually made access to offshore lands possible. A time finally came when people covered the entire Earth's surface, and as Emmanuel Kant wrote: “Because it is a globe, they cannot scatter to an infinite distance.” According to William McNeill, a historian, there were four kinds of migrations: the forced movement of one population by another; the conquest of a people by another, followed by a merger of the two; the welcomed arrival of strangers; and the importation of individuals or an entire people uprooted from their land. The first kind corresponds to nomadism; the second, to enterprises of conquest; the third, to the establishment of commercial activities; and the fourth, to slavery.

Keywords: migration; nomadism; enterprises; activity; slavery

Chapter.  6731 words. 

Subjects: Migration Studies

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