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Title: Confederate and Afrikaner nationalism : myth, identity, and gender in comparative perspective.
Author: Cauthen, Melvin Bruce Jr.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3525 3380
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis provides a comparison of Confederate and Afrikaner nationalism - the latter during the period of the Boer Republics. Anthony D. Smith's "ethno-symbolic" approach to the study of ethnicity and nationalism - which emphasizes the importance of socio-cultural factors such as myths, symbols, and memories - is utilized to reveal the similarities between the two communities with regard to their respective struggles for political independence. The analysis focuses primarily on the myth of divine election, the dynamics of ethno-cultural identity, and the roles of women in the nationalist project. The first section demonstrates the influence of biblical fundamentalism on the evolution of Southern and Afrikaner identity. Through an increasingly profound identification with the ancient Hebrews of the Old Testament, both communities came to regard themselves as chosen peoples. In each case, the self-conception of "chosenness" electrified the struggle for ethno-political independence; and, it was indeed during wartime that the myth of divine election was most conspicuously manifested. The second part of the thesis explores the ways Confederates and Republican Boers defined themselves against white and black others - Northerners and African bondsmen in the American context, and the British and the indigenous peoples in the South African case. Both Confederates and Boers betrayed marked tendencies towards ethnocentrism and xenophobia and foreigners were held in particularly low esteem by the dominant groups in each society. Yet, Southerners and Afrikaners also often defined themselves against their own ethnic kinsmen. The final section considers the enthusiasm with which Southern and Afrikaans women subscribed to the nationalist project and the varied ways in which they established themselves as the uncompromising champions of radical ethno-political activism. Particular attention is paid to vigorous female support for the war-effort.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political science