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Title: 'No matter how much or how little they've got, they can't settle down' : a social history of Europeans on the Zambian Copperbelt, 1926-1974
Author: Money, Duncan
ISNI:       0000 0004 6496 4124
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis traces the social history of the European community on the Zambian Copperbelt from the onset of copper mining in 1926 to the mid-1970s when a dramatic slump in the price of copper generated severe economic difficulties. There has been almost no academic work on the Copperbelt's European community and, in this respect, this thesis fills an important gap. However, a focus on the European community has a wider significance than filling this gap. Although the Copperbelt has generally been understood in a national or regional context, this thesis argues that developments there are better understood by exploring how the Copperbelt was linked to other mining regions around the world; in Britain, South Africa, the US and Australia. The European community was largely composed of highly mobile, transient individuals, and the constant movement of people made and sustained transnational connections. Mobility and transience are crucial to two of the main themes of this thesis: class consciousness and the importance of race. Class was a strong marker of identity for Europeans and a variant of 'white labourism' dominated life on the Copperbelt. Industrial unrest was a regular occurrence in the life of the European community as strikes and other disputes underpinned extraordinary levels of affluence. The frequency of industrial unrest diminishes the relevance of South Africa as a viable comparison, as does the relative lack of importance of race. This thesis argues that the predominant attitude of Europeans toward the African majority around them was one of indifference and that the importance of 'African advancement' has been overstated. Archival collections in Zambia and Britain constitute the main sources for this thesis. These sources are supplemented with material from archives in South Africa and Netherlands, contemporary publications including newspapers, and interviews with former European residents of the Copperbelt.
Supervisor: Deutsch, Jan-Georg Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; Labour history ; Copperbelt ; Zambia ; Mining history