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Proletarians In Paradise: The Historiography And Historical Sociology Of White Miners On The Copperbelt

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Chapter Summary

Drawing on J.F. Holleman and S. Biesheuvel's extensive survey of 'The Attitudes of White Mining Employees towards Life and Work on the Copperbelt', this chapter outlines the historiography and historical sociology of a racially-bounded aristocracy of labour. Described as a paradise for the proletariat, the Copperbelt provided employment for over 7,000 white miners during a crucial period of its history. By contrast to journalistic accounts, academic investigations of the Northern Rhodesian copper mining industry have hardly looked at white miners at all. With the exception of the Holleman and Biesheuvel report-cum-book noted above, scholarly studies have usually focussed on broad aspects of the Copperbelt's political and social past. Where the history of labour has been examined, it has very largely been the history of black workers and their trade unions.

Keywords:Copperbelt; J.F. Holleman; Northern Rhodesian copper mining industry; proletariat; S. Biesheuvel; white mining employees



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