Hepburn Sacha
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This chapter provides an overview of the book’s core arguments and outlines the book’s interventions into several existing fields. It situates the study within histories of labour, gender, and post-colonial development in Zambia and the southern African region, outlining how the book re-evaluates existing multidisciplinary scholarship on these themes by demonstrating the importance of domestic labour and female workers to post-colonial urban economies. It provides an overview of existing scholarship on domestic service in Africa and globally, demonstrating how the book moves beyond existing understandings of domestic service in southern Africa by foregrounding labour relations in Black households in post-colonial societies and the women and child workers who predominated in these spaces. It introduces the book’s innovative theoretical approach to domestic service, illustrating how this brings a wide range of labour relations and workers into a single frame of analysis and captures the realities of domestic labour relations in post-colonial southern Africa. It situates the book in relation to contemporary debates around domestic worker rights and labour in southern Africa, highlighting the ways in which the book provides new insights into organising workers and regulating labour relations, and the gendered and generational dynamics of such interventions. Finally, it surveys the book’s methodology, paying particular attention to the use of oral history and the processes surrounding the gathering and analysis of oral testimonies.

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Domestic service and gender in urban southern Africa

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