Popular music and identity in Southern Rhodesia, 1930-1960
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This dissertation uses music as a roadmap for social identity formation among African urbanites in Southern Rhodesia between 1930 and 1960. By 1930, Southern Rhodesia was in the midst of a massive urbanization process that drew individuals from throughout modern day Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, and Mozambique to the region looking for employment in the new wage-based colonial economy. From this cultural milieu, new identities emerged that were reflective of the economic, political, religious, and educational changes wrought by the colonial order. I argue that by examining the music people produced and consumed, we can better understand how various groups in urban society viewed themselves and their place within the colonial system. The chapters that follow are designed to chronicle the rise of the African popular music scene and examine how it echoed the trials and tribulations of a rapidly changing society.