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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 24, 2022

Egalité! – aber für wen? Rassistische Menschenbilder und deren Konstruktion in der französischen Lexikographie des 19. Jahrhunderts

  • Armin Owzar EMAIL logo
From the journal Lexicographica


By analyzing three widely used French dictionaries in the second half of the 19th century, whose authors (Bescherelle, Lachâtre, and Littré) in the broadest sense belonged to the liberal spectrum of their time, the present article investigates the spread of racist images of humanity. The questions addressed to selected lemmas (such as homme, race or noir, sémite or juif) are: 1. Which human races were constructed and categorized? 2. Were unchangeable characteristics ascribed to these races? 3. Was a hierarchy of human races asserted? 4. How were these differences explained? And 5. Were there any racial political claims? The aim is to show that the thinking not only of conservative liberals, but also of early socialist democrats and conservative republicans was contaminated by racist ideas, but that there was no explicit racist or anti-Semitic worldview in the case of any of the three dictionaries.

Article note

Für eine kritische Durchsicht des Manuskripts geht mein herzlicher Dank an Irmtraud Behr (Paris), Susanne Popp (Augsburg) und Anja Lobenstein-Reichmann (Göttingen/Prag).

Online erschienen: 2022-11-24
Erschienen im Druck: 2022-11-25

© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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