Extended families or bodily decomposition?
Biological metaphors in the age of European decolonization
in Rhetorics of empire
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This chapter highlights rhetorical strategies by which European colonizing nations regularly construed their ties with overseas colonies as organic, natural and beneficial. The examples of Britain, France and Portugal reveal biological metaphors describing national/imperial relationships and spaces to have constituted an 'international language of the colonizers'. Home to multi-ethnic citizenries, postcolonial nations contain substantial minorities descended from migrant groups hailing from erstwhile colonies. As in Britain starting in the 1960s, however, Portugal and France also enacted legislation to curb the immigration of ex-colonized people from the 1970s onwards. All three former metropoles made space for European-descended settlers and repatriates after decolonization, with France and Portugal receiving hundreds of thousands of pieds-noirs from Algeria and retornados from Angola and Mozambique respectively.

Rhetorics of empire

Languages of colonial conflict after 1900

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