Houseboy: Domestic Service and the Making of Colonial Dar es Salaam, 1919-1961 Open Access

Pariser, Robyn Allyce (2013)

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This dissertation constructs a history of the largest occupational group in colonial Dar es Salaam--domestic servants. Servants, the overwhelming majority of whom were African men, composed nearly half of Dar es Salaam's wage labor force and formed Tanganyika's first African labor union. Despite their significance, servants play only a marginal role in scholarly accounts of the city's history. I examine how domestic service changed from a well-paid, respected occupation into cheap, degrading labor and analyze the struggle between servants and the state over labor standards and servants' status as workers. Correspondence between servants and state officials, union documents and petitions, labor legislation, personal memoires, and official discussions about domestic service in Dar es Salaam, shed new light on the shifting visions and meanings of work in the colonial era. My research reveals that the state possessed multiple and conflicting images of African labor and African laborers. Moreover, African notions of honor and masculinity became increasingly tied not only to work, but to permanent, regulated wage labor. By integrating domestic servants into the dominant narrative of Dar es Salaam's labor history, this dissertation complicates accepted paradigms of African labor, colonial rule, and the British imperial project.

Table of Contents

Introduction Rethinking Urban Labor and Urban Laborers in Colonial Africa 1 Chapter One The Houseboy: Masculinity and the Emergence of Domestic Service in Tanganyika 32 Chapter Two The Servant Problem: African Servants and the Making of European Domesticity in Tanganyika 67 Chapter Three Labor Transformation and Urban Crisis 103 Chapter Four The African Cooks, Washermen and House Servants Association 138 Chapter Five "A Trial of Strength:" The Tanganyika Domestic and Hotel Workers Union and the Dar es Salaam General Strike of 1956 178 Conclusion 221 Bibliography 231

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