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To Garden, to Market: gendered meanings of work on an African urban periphery

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This article traces the historical origins of a localized gender division of labor found in two villages on the edge of the city of Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. Through social-historical analysis, this article demonstrates that gender divisions of labor are not simply constructed in particular places; they are constructs located near or far from other places, and thus influenced by multidimensional interactions between those places. Specifically, this article shows how the villages' location on the periphery of an important regional city has shaped their experience of European colonialism, religious change and market expansion in ways that have given particular meanings to certain kinds of work in commercial gardening. More generally, this article shows how a focus on the historical meanings of work can provide insights into local variations in gender divisions of labor.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-03-01

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