The making of white worker identity
in Class, work and whiteness
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Chapter 1 focuses on the rise of European trade unions in the wake of the First World War. The chapter outlines the major tenets of white worker identity, considers how white workers were internally fractured according to ethnicity, nationality, gender, skill and occupation and demonstrates how trade unions used notions of respectability and pride in whiteness to temper these divisions. Drawing on Barbara Rosenwein, it considers the gendered emotional communities on Rhodesia Railways, with particular emphasis on the disciplining effects of pride, shame and anger. It argues that expressed emotions were structured by race, class and gender and continued to be important markers of white worker identity throughout the period under study. This chapter also interrogates Jonathan Hyslop’s notion of 'white labourism' among European workers in Rhodesia and ends by exploring the role of othering of Africans and Coloureds in the construction of white class identities in the settler colony.

Class, work and whiteness

Race and settler colonialism in Southern Rhodesia, 1919–79


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