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Writing a Nation or Writing a Culture? Frelimo and Nationalism During the Mozambican Liberation War

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Chapter Summary

This chapter traces the trajectory of the nationalism championed by the ruling Frelimo party to understand how an ideology that once promised radical unity also came to be a powerful symbol of social difference. It explains the social origins and transformation of the elite and the origins of the development of modernist nationalism as a local category and how it has transformed through Mozambique's changing political landscape. The chapter then discusses how this ideology is inculcated into younger generations of elites through education and expressed by selfpresentation and consumption. It concerns what the Mozambican case has to offfer to the wider anthropological arguments concerning modernity and nationalism in Africa. Education in Mozambique is held in high regard, perhaps, in part, due to the colonial state's dismal record for its provision. Nationalism, as has often been argued, is always a modernist project.

Keywords:Africa; modernity; Mozambican national elite; nationalism

10.1163/9789004226012_006
/content/books/b9789004226012s006
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