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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Administrators' Knowledge and State Control in Colonial Zimbabwe: The Invention of the Rural-Urban Divide in Buhera District, 1912-1980
Author:Andersson, Jens A.ISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Great Britain
Subjects:rural-urban relations
colonial administration
History and Exploration
Urbanization and Migration
Development and Technology
Labor and Employment
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/4100429
Abstract:The power of the State to impose its self-produced categories of thought poses a major problem to Zimbabwe historiography which has often taken as unproblematic the relation between knowledge about, and control over, African societies as presented in the State's archives. This article challenges this hegemonic view of the colonial State, presenting an alternative interpretation of administrative reports on Buhera district. Unlike many other districts, Buhera was never the scene of large-scale land alienation and eviction of Africans from their ancestral lands. The article examines labour mobilization in Buhera by the colonial State in the period 1898-1926; the shift from labour to produce markets in 1926-1939; planned modernization and the emergence of a rural-urban divide in colonial policy discourse in the 1950s and 1960s; and the loss of control in the last two decades of settler rule. It shows how Buhera society became increasingly represented as the traditional, rural end of a rural-urban divide in colonial policy discourse while, in reality, social life in the area became intimately linked to the urban economy of Salisbury. It argues that the rural-urban divide constituted another colonial invention of tradition situated in the minds of colonial administrators. Notes, ref., sum.