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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Civic Virtue, Young Men, and the Family: Conscription in Rhodesia, 1974-1980
Author:White, Luise
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:military service
citizenship education
Military, Defense and Arms
History and Exploration
Politics and Government
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:The author applies John Lonsdale's (1992) idea of civic virtue to Rhodesian struggles over national service, as the illegal and embattled State of Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) fought a guerilla war against two African armies in the 1970s. Once this war began, conscription, already in existence before independence in 1965, became extensive and cumbersome and was a nightmare to administer by 1977. Based on Rhodesian Army papers and a number of novels and memoirs written by white, mainly male, Rhodesian authors, the author examines how Rhodesians coped with conscription, showing that in many Rhodesian writings, conscription was an issue of family membership rather than national identity, but that family membership constituted a notion of civic virtue. Parents expected their sons to do their national service; the consequences of draft dodging were grave, and they were articulated in the home. When, from 1978 onward, due to an internal settlement, the white minority government had to share power with several African political parties, the dynamics of fathers and sons trumped any notion of civic virtue imparted by fathers to sons: young men might fight a war for their fathers' way of life, but they had no loyalty to the place if their fathers' wealth could not be theirs. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]