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Title: Livelihood and status struggles in the mission stations of the Universities' Mission to Central Africa (UMCA), north-eastern Tanzania and Zanzibar, 1864-1926
Author: Greenfield-Liebst, Michelle
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 494X
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis is about the social, political, and economic interactions that took place in and around the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa (UMCA) in two very different regions: north-eastern Tanzania and Zanzibar. The mission was for much of the period a space in which people could – often inventively – make a living through education, employment, and patronage. Indeed, particularly in the period preceding British colonial rule, most Christians were mission employees (usually teachers) and their families. Being Christian was, in one sense, a livelihood. In this era before the British altered the political economy, education had only limited appeal, while the teaching profession was not highly esteemed by Africans, although it offered some teachers the security and status of a regular income. From the 1860s to the 1910s, the UMCA did not offer clear trajectories for most of the Africans interacting with it in search of a better life. Markers of coastal sophistication, such as clothing or Swahili fluency, had greater social currency, while the coast remained a prime source of paid employment, often preferable to conditions offered by the mission. By the end of the period, Christians were at a social and economic advantage by virtue of their access to formal institutional education. This was a major shift and schooling became an obvious trajectory for future employment and economic mobility. Converts, many of whom came from marginal social backgrounds, sought to overcome a heritage of exploitative social relations and to redraw the field for the negotiation of dependency to their advantage. However, as this thesis shows, the mission also contributed to new sets of exploitative social relations in a hierarchy of work and education.
Supervisor: Becker, Felicitas Sponsor: ESRC ; CHESS
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Africa ; East Africa ; Tanzania ; Magila ; Zanzibar ; livelihoods ; social status ; modernity ; missionaries ; mission ; mission stations ; Christianity ; African Christianity ; African Christians ; domestic service ; domestic servants ; slavery ; ex-slaves ; slaves ; slave trade ; pawnship ; history of childhood ; history of education ; mission education