‘No ordinary chaps’
Class, gender and the licensing of transgression
in Madness and marginality
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This chapter traces the social history of deviance amongst Europeans in colonial Kenya. In order to contain deviance within manageable bounds, it argues, a practical project of social control was combined with a discursive neutralisation of what might otherwise bring colonial rule into disre¬pute. Combining attention to cultural production with analysis of social control mechanisms reveals the salience of gender and class in the protection of a salutary white settler identity. The chapter approaches critically Kenya’s outstanding reputation as a place of colonial eccentricity. It reconstructs that reputation within a narrative that highlights the changing nature of colonial society through a history of the treatment – by state and society – of deviants themselves.

Madness and marginality

The lives of Kenya’s White insane

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