Abstract

This article examines an episode of worker flight in colonial Mozambique and urges a rethinking of resistance in African social history. Worker flight has often been cast as a form of resistance to colonial rule and wage labor but the case considered here rests awkwardly within the paradigm. The social history of resistance in Africa has occupied a central place in the historiography since the 1960s. Such work has contributed greatly to the writing of African history, especially of the colonial era. The article suggests that it may be time, historiographically and methodologically, to look beyond resistance. Moving beyond resistance may permit examinations of African politics that do not fit neatly into the category of resistance or the related ones of collaboration and domination. The resistance paradigm often clothes historical actors in the guise of oppressed and oppressor, when they frequently possessed multiple and overlapping identities. The now orthodox use of oral testimony makes it possible to explore these identities, defined as much by societies as by the demands of the state.

Additional Information

ISSN
1527-1897
Print ISSN
0022-4529
Pages
pp. 187-198
Launched on MUSE
2003-09-05
Open Access
No
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