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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A new type of citizen: youth, gender, and generation in the Ghanaian Builders Brigade
Author:Ahlman, Jeffrey S.ISNI
Year:2012
Periodical:The Journal of African History (ISSN 0021-8537)
Volume:53
Issue:1
Pages:87-105
Language:English
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:Convention People's Party
youth organizations
youth policy
1960-1969
Link:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021853712000047
Abstract:This article analyses one key feature of the Convention People's Party's youth policy in postcolonial Ghana: the Ghana Builders Brigade. Founded in 1957 as a response to rapid urbanization and growing unemployment, the Builders Brigade aimed to create a new productive and modern citizenry by returning the country's young men and women to the land through a network of mechanized work camps and State farms. Locally and internationally, the apparently militaristic nature of Brigade life came under regular fire during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Meanwhile, on the ground, the Ghanaian public expressed apprehension over the changing generational and gender relations the Brigade and other party organizations appeared to be promoting under Nkrumah. Remembered as both a locus for party intimidation and indiscipline as well as a source for political and social opportunity, the Brigade emerged as a key site for a generationally defined and gendered debate over the roles and responsibilities of the country's youth in the first decade of self-rule. Through an interrogation of this debate, this article argues that the Brigade provided a space for its members to explore a socially recognized yet politically conceived notion of adulthood under Nkrumah's rule. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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