The Rise of an African Middle Class

The Rise of an African Middle Class : Colonial Zimbabwe, 1898-1965

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Offers an extremely sophisticated, nuanced view of the social and political construction of an African middle class in colonial Zimbabwe." -Elizabeth SchmidtTracing their quest for social recognition from the time of Cecil Rhodes to Rhodesia's unilateral declaration of independence, Michael O. West shows how some Africans were able to avail themselves of scarce educational and social opportunities in order to achieve some degree of upward mobility in a society that was hostile to their ambitions. Though relatively few in number and not rich by colonial standards, this comparatively better class of Africans challenged individual and social barriers imposed by colonialism to become the locus of protest against European domination. This extensive and original book opens new perspective into relations between colonizers and colonized in colonial more

Product details

  • Paperback | 344 pages
  • 153.9 x 233.7 x 19.6mm | 476.28g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 14 b&w photos, 2 maps, 1 bibliog., 1 index
  • 0253215242
  • 9780253215246
  • 2,020,768

Review quote

"... a compelling portrait of a community seeking heroically to succeed 'inside the system' and choosing confrontation only when other options seemed exhausted... African Studies Review... impeccable and original scholarship..." -American Historical Reviewshow more

About Michael O. West

Michael O. West teaches in the Departments of Sociology and Africana Studies at Binghamton University. He is co-editor (with William G. Martin) of Out of One, Many Africas: Reconstructing the Study and Meaning of Africa. He has written widely on Zimbabwean and southern African history, and on the African more

Table of contents

Preliminary Table of Contents: AcknowledgmentsAbbreviationsColonial and Postcolonial Place NamesIntroductionPart 1. The Social Construction of the African Middle Class1. Running Against the Wind: African Social Mobility and Identity in a Settler Colonial Society2. Courting "Miss Education": The Love Affair with Social Mobility3. The Quest for Bourgeois Domesticity: On Homemakers and Households4. The Best of All Homes: Housing and Security of TenurePart 2. The Political Construction of the African Middle Class5. A New Beginning: The Roots of African Politics, 1914-19336. Found and Lost: Toward an African Political Consensus, 1934-19487. Back Toward the Beginning: The Pursuit of Racial Partnership, 1949-19588. An Aborted Coronation: In Search of the Political Kingdom, 1955-1965ConclusionNotesBibliographyIndexshow more

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