The Myth of the Lazy Native
The most significant nuance between Denina and the French was that, whereas Denina saw Italian societies as essentially immutable, if given to periods of dynamism, the French saw them as merely stagnant through a mixture of climate and geography, on the one hand, and governance — interpreted in its widest sense — on the other. Their contempt for the regimes they usurped is already abundantly clear, from both their words and deeds. The French brought with them the enlightenment ‘baggage’ of climactic and geographical determinism, but they applied it with a particular verve to the societies they encountered, and used both pillars of societal analysis to explain to themselves the failure of integration, and then to construct a view of their Italian administrés which bore many of the hallmarks of later, truly colonial occupations16 and, finally, to justify and give shape to a policy of assimilation.
KeywordsPolitical Culture Cultural Imperialism Italian Department Dependency Culture Italian Male
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