The discourse of racialization of labour and Chinese enterprises in Africa

Barry Sautman, Yan Hairong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


A ‘race' and labour conjunction has been theorized based on Global North investment in the Global South. Chinese enterprising in Africa allows us to analyse it in a South-South setting. Contrary to dominant discourses, Chinese employers are not the sole racializers of the African/Chinese interface. Chinese and Africans, employers and employees, as well as Western actors, co-constitute racialization, with varied consequences for each. Rhetorical racialization of African employees by some Chinese employers and African employee and politicians’ racialization of Chinese, show that South-South racializations of labour markedly differ from the North-South exemplar.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2149-2168
Number of pages20
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2016


  • Africa
  • Africans
  • China
  • Chinese
  • labour
  • Racialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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