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Title: Labor, Mobility and Coercion in Central Mozambique, 1942-1961
Authors: Kagan Guthrie, Zachary
Advisors: Kreike, Emmanuel
Contributors: History Department
Keywords: forced labor
Subjects: History
African history
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation examines forced and migrant labor in central Mozambique during the late colonial era. Both forced and migrant labor were central to the regional political economy and fundamental institutions through which ordinary Mozambicans engaged with colonial rule. This dissertation focuses upon how they were experienced by ordinary workers, beginning with the 1942 reinstatement of forced labor during the wartime economic boom, and ending with the abolition of forced labor in 1961, shortly before the onset of the Mozambican war of independence. Using over 170 interviews and extensive archival research, it studies the contested movement of individuals to, from, and between different employment across central Mozambique and southern Africa. Sometimes, this movement was a source of autonomy for individual workers, who used their ability to move across the region to find work best suited to their particular circumstances. Sometimes, this movement was a source of leverage for colonial officials, who directed the movement of workers to magnify their limited capacities of social control. In examining struggles over labor and mobility, the dissertation explores the broader colonial encounter which they knit together. Examining colonial efforts to control labor mobility reveals the possibilities and limitations of colonial power, from the selective interpretation and utilization of colonial law to the everyday structures of "indirect rule." At the same time, examining how ordinary Mozambicans used mobility within their working lives illuminates a wide array of social dynamics, from changing understandings of gender relations to the affective ties which linked migrants with their distant families. Finally, examining mobility provides a new perspective into the historical relationship between African agency, economic structure and colonial power in postwar southern Africa. Mobility was an essential dimension of how workers navigated the colonial system to their advantage, but it was intermittently controlled by the violent interventions of colonial authorities and permanently circumscribed by the exploitative racism of colonial southern Africa. In examining these fluid dynamics, this dissertation effects a more nuanced account of their variegated roles in making the late colonial history of central Mozambique.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:History

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