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Title: A social history of domestic service in post-colonial Zambia, c.1964-2014
Author: Hepburn, Sacha
ISNI:       0000 0004 6421 7620
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis examines the history of domestic service in Zambia from the 1960s to the present day. Domestic service was one of the largest sectors of urban employment throughout this period and involved large numbers of men, women and children selling and buying labour in a variety of working arrangements. The sector has, however, received little scholarly or official attention, reflecting a broader historiographical neglect of informal sector employment and the female workers who predominate in this area of the economy. The lack of attention paid to domestic service by academics and policy-makers has considerably limited the questions that have been asked about who workers are and how processes of reproduction and production have been organized at a household and societal level in Zambia, both historically and in the present. Most immediately, in order to work outside of the home, earn money and access crucial resources, thousands of Zambians needed to find someone else to take care of their homes and children. Drawing on a wide range of source material, this study demonstrates the importance of domestic service to social and economic relations in post-colonial Zambia. The study centres on domestic service arrangements in black households in the capital city of Lusaka. It examines how and why men, women and children found work in service, how and why employers sought help with domestic and care labour, and the relationships that developed between these parties. The study illustrates the diversity of the sector, with working arrangements varying from seemingly-informal kinship-based labour relations at one end of the spectrum to formalised, contractual employment at the other. The study also explains the gendered and generational shifts that have reshaped domestic service over the last fifty years, drawing attention to the increased significance of women and female children's labour. Overall this thesis provides new insights into class formation, rural-urban dependencies, gender relations, and the nature of inequality in a post-colonial African city.
Supervisor: Larmer, Miles Sponsor: Wolfson Foundation ; Beit Fund ; St Antony's College
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Household employees--Zambia--History--20th century ; Sexual division of labor ; Zambia--Economic conditions--1964- ; Postcolonialism ; Zambia--Social conditions--1964-