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Unsettled: Denial and Belonging Among White Kenyans

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by Janet McIntosh
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Unsettled: Denial and Belonging Among White Kenyans by Janet McIntosh

In 1963, Kenya gained independence from Britain, ending nearly seventy years of white colonial rule. Many whites relocated outside Kenya, but some stayed. Over the past decade, however, protests, scandals, and upheavals have unsettled families with colonial origins, reminding them of the tenuousness of their full acceptance in Kenya. From clinging to a lost colonial identity to embracing a new Kenyan nationality, white settler descendants living in post-Independence Kenya have undergone changes fraught with ambiguity. Drawing on fieldwork and interviews, Janet McIntosh asks: What stories do settler descendants tell about their claims to belong in Kenya? How do they situate themselves vis-à-vis the colonial past and anticolonial sentiment, phrasing and rephrasing memories and judgments as they seek a position they feel is ethically acceptable? Straining to defend their entitlements in the face of mounting Kenyan rhetoric of ancestry and autochthony, settler descendants offer contradictory and diverse responses: moral double consciousness, aspirations to uplift the nation, ideological blind spots, denial, and self-doubt. In discussions ranging from land rights to language and from romantic intimacy to the African occult, Unsettled presents a unique perspective on whiteness in a postcolonial context and a groundbreaking theory of elite subjectivity.

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Ebook Details
Pages: 312
Size: 1.5 MB
Publisher: University of California Press
Date published:   2016
ISBN: 9780520964631 (DRM-EPUB)
2370007451760 (DRM-PDF)

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Nonfiction > Social Science > Anthropology > Cultural

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