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Title: Militarism and masculinity amongst the Acholi of Uganda, c.1750-1986
Author: Taylor, Lucy Rebecca
ISNI:       0000 0004 8501 0186
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis explores constructed understandings of honourable manhood and the nature of militarism amongst the Acholi of northern Uganda from c.1750 to 1986. As such, its focus ranges from a social history of warriorhood to the intersection of gender with colonial military service. Importantly, this thesis unravels multiple layers of complexity and reframes the relationship between masculinity and militarism as a contested space which encompassed local debates. It argues that over the past two hundred and fifty years Acholi men have been challenged with negotiating respectable manhood within an economy of honour that both requires and condemns the use of violence, and which in addition, has been repeatedly disputed and adapted over time. By using a range of unique source material and a variety of disciplinary approaches, this thesis challenges a series of scholarly and popular stereotypes about African cultures of violence in general, and the Acholi people in particular. It analyses how Acholi speakers themselves have presented the nature of their society to outsiders, and exposes the sociocultural contexts which have both shaped and reshaped local understandings of military service. In addition, this thesis explores how Acholi veterans have contextualised the violence they both witnessed and participated in, and examines how different interest groups have struggled for control over the public representation of divisive, contentious historical events. As such, it further demonstrates how violent pasts can be reframed and manipulated in pursuit of contemporary aims and agendas. Overall, the long historical perspective of this thesis underscores the importance of studying cultures of violence and gendered hierarchies over the longue durée. Only by doing so are we equipped to identify significant fluctuations over time and examine any practices, patterns and processes relating to masculinity and militarism which link the precolonial, colonial and postcolonial periods.
Supervisor: Doyle, Shane ; Eldridge, Claire Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available