Class, work and whiteness: Race and settler colonialism in Southern Rhodesia, 1919-79

Class, work and whiteness: Race and settler colonialism in Southern Rhodesia, 1919-79

by Nicola Ginsburgh


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By exploring the everyday lives of white workers during minority rule, this book underscores the continuing significance of class in Rhodesian settler society. Interest in white identity, power and privilege has grown following struggles over white land ownership in the early 2000s, yet research has predominately focused on middle class and rural whites. By critically building upon whiteness literature and synthesising theories of class, gender and emotions within a critical Marxist framework, this book considers the ways in which racial supremacy and white identity were forged and contested by lower class whites in urban areas and the industrial workplace.

Based on original research conducted in the UK, South Africa and Zimbabwe, Class, work and whiteness demonstrates how the worlds of work were embedded in the production of social identities and how class intersected with other identities and oppressions. Settler anxieties over hegemonic notions of white femininity and masculinity, white poverty, Coloureds, Africans and ‘undesirable’ whites, were rooted in class experience and contributed to dominant white worker political ideologies.

This book will be of interest to undergraduates and academics of gender, labour, race and class in African and imperial and colonial history, economic history and settler colonial studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526143877
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Publication date: 09/01/2020
Series: Studies in Imperialism
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.81(d)

About the Author

Nicola Ginsburgh is a postdoctoral Fellow with the International Studies Group at the University of the Free State, South Africa

Table of Contents

1 The making of white worker identity
2 The Great Depression and shifting boundaries of "white work"
3 The Second World War
4 The 'multiracial' Central African Federation, 1953-1963
5 White fights, white flight and the Rhodesian Front, 1962-1979

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