The Second World War
in Class, work and whiteness
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Chapter 3 explores the struggles of men and women to variously challenge or uphold racialised and gendered patterns of recruitment, wages and working and living conditions in the context of the Second World War. Part 1 explores the limitations of white workers’ wartime nationalism and shows that the presence of white working-class RAF recruits, Polish refugees, Italian internees and a growing number of Coloured wage labourers provoked contestation both over what it meant to be British as well as what it meant to be white. Part 1 also explores the increasing numbers of white women in wage labour. It demonstrates that anxieties over white women exploited by employers were aggravated by the relative absence of white men. Black Peril and illusions to African violence became increasingly prominent in trade union journals. African urbanisation, the rise of an African middle class and increasing African militancy and organisation form the context for Part 2. These phenomena are analysed through a theoretical lens that draws upon the production of settler colonial space and the insights of W. E. B. DuBois. The chapter ends with an analysis of the decline of Rhodesia's Labour parties.

Class, work and whiteness

Race and settler colonialism in Southern Rhodesia, 1919–79

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