We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK


93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > From Poverty to Wretchedness
View graph of relations

« Back

From Poverty to Wretchedness: Albert Camus and the Psychology of the Pieds-noirs

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Article number4
Journal publication date2013
JournalJournal of Colonialism and Colonial History
Original languageEnglish


This article uses the pieds-noirs (European settlers) of Algeria as a case study of how ‘poor whites’ have been constructed, and have constructed themselves, in colonial historiography. Beginning with a re-examination of terminology, and of the socio-economic status of the pieds-noirs, I argue that the poverty of this community is more often and more usefully understood as a form of psychological impoverishment. The work of Albert Camus represents a salient example of these discourses and offers the historian a productive means of re-thinking the conceptually liminal space of ‘poor whites’ between colony and metropole.