Social mobility among Christian Africans

evidence from Anglican marriage registers in Uganda, 1895–2011

Felix Meier zu Selhausen, Marco H.D. van Leeuwen, Jacob L. Weisdorf

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Resumé

This article uses Anglican marriage registers from colonial and post-colonial Uganda to investigate long-term trends and determinants of intergenerational social mobility and colonial elite formation among Christian African men. It shows that the colonial era opened up new labour opportunities for these African converts, enabling them to take large steps up the social ladder regardless of their social origin. Contrary to the widespread belief that British indirect rule perpetuated the power of African political elites (chiefs), this article shows that a remarkably fluid colonial labour economy actually undermined their social advantages. Sons of chiefs gradually lost their high social-status monopoly to a new, commercially orientated, and well-educated class of Anglican Ugandans, who mostly came from non-elite and sometimes even lower-class backgrounds. The study also documents that the colonial administration and the Anglican mission functioned as key steps on the ladder to upward mobility. Mission education helped provide the skills and social reference needed to climb the ladder in exchange for compliance with the laws of the Anglican Church. These social mobility patterns persisted throughout the post-colonial era, despite rising levels of informal labour during Idi Amin's dictatorship.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEconomic History Review
Vol/bind71
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)1291-1321
ISSN0013-0117
DOI
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2018

Fingeraftryk

Uganda
Africa
Marriage
Labor
Social Mobility
Colonies
Social mobility
Colonial Era
Elites
Dictatorship
Convert
Economy
Education
Lower Class
Monopoly
Indirect Rule
Colonial Administration
Social Status
Anglican Church
Political Elites

Citer dette

Meier zu Selhausen, Felix ; van Leeuwen, Marco H.D. ; Weisdorf, Jacob L. / Social mobility among Christian Africans : evidence from Anglican marriage registers in Uganda, 1895–2011. I: Economic History Review. 2018 ; Bind 71, Nr. 4. s. 1291-1321.
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abstract = "This article uses Anglican marriage registers from colonial and post-colonial Uganda to investigate long-term trends and determinants of intergenerational social mobility and colonial elite formation among Christian African men. It shows that the colonial era opened up new labour opportunities for these African converts, enabling them to take large steps up the social ladder regardless of their social origin. Contrary to the widespread belief that British indirect rule perpetuated the power of African political elites (chiefs), this article shows that a remarkably fluid colonial labour economy actually undermined their social advantages. Sons of chiefs gradually lost their high social-status monopoly to a new, commercially orientated, and well-educated class of Anglican Ugandans, who mostly came from non-elite and sometimes even lower-class backgrounds. The study also documents that the colonial administration and the Anglican mission functioned as key steps on the ladder to upward mobility. Mission education helped provide the skills and social reference needed to climb the ladder in exchange for compliance with the laws of the Anglican Church. These social mobility patterns persisted throughout the post-colonial era, despite rising levels of informal labour during Idi Amin's dictatorship.",
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Social mobility among Christian Africans : evidence from Anglican marriage registers in Uganda, 1895–2011. / Meier zu Selhausen, Felix; van Leeuwen, Marco H.D.; Weisdorf, Jacob L.

I: Economic History Review, Bind 71, Nr. 4, 11.2018, s. 1291-1321.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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