Now is the Time of Youth: Youth, Nationalism and Cultural Change in Ghana, 1940-1966
By Jeremy Pool
This dissertation asks why youth became the focus of nation-building efforts for both colonial and nationalist governments and explores the implications of state policy on youth for Ghana's political culture. My approach blends political and cultural history to write about national formation across the divide of independence. I examine the fields of education, social welfare and ideological training in order to understand how state-policy and youth activism made youth central to Ghana's imagination of nationhood.
The Introduction relates the dissertation to three bodies of literature: studies of nationalism, studies of Africa's colonial and post-colonial states, and studies of youth by historians and social scientists, particularly in Africa. Chapter One examines colonial and early nationalist policy on education as an aspect of changing approaches to governance. Colonial officials expected an expanded education system to produce a new colonial citizenry. The Convention People's Party (CPP) embraced education as a path to economic development, political stabilization and cultural modernity. Chapter Two looks at the failure of colonial models of education to contain students' discontent and at their embrace of nationalist politics. I undertake a micro-historical study of a set of school strikes at three boys' secondary schools following the 1948 riots and explore their significance for changes in political consciousness in the nationalist period. Chapter Three shifts attention to the field of criminality and social welfare and considers the threat that delinquent or unemployed youth posed to social order and national development. It analyzes colonial and nationalist efforts to understand and transform these social problems. Chapter Four considers the project of ideological training in Ghana. Against the background of colonial efforts, I examine the CPP's Young Pioneers Movement and its efforts to establish itself as Ghana's official youth organization. I consider youths' public performance of the nation and tensions within families as youth were asked to make loyalty to the state primary. The conclusion summarizes the preceding materials and reflects on their significance for our understanding of nationhood and the nationalist period in Africa.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Introduction: Youth and Nation Building in Mid-Twentieth Century Ghana...1
Chapter 1: Youth, Education and the Late-Colonial Imagination...36
Chapter 2: Future Heroes: Education and Youth Consciousness in the Early Nationalist Period...80
Chapter 3: Problem Children and Nation Builders: Delinquency and Youth Unemployment in Ghana...131
Chapter 4: Family Matters and Matters of State...184
Conclusion: Reversals and Legacies...233
About this Dissertation
|Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor|
|Now is the Time of Youth: Youth, Nationalism and Cultural Change in Ghana, 1940-1966 ()||2018-08-28||