The ethics of manhood in post-war Huambo, Angola

Spall, John Arthur David (2016) The ethics of manhood in post-war Huambo, Angola. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

This thesis considers the impact of a long civil war on the masculinities performed by war veterans in Huambo, Angola. In particular, it looks at how the social transformations of war, and the particular courses veterans took through them, affected how certain aspects of the performance of senior masculinities were ethically problematised. Based on a year's ethnographic fieldwork carried out in 2012, it traces the life histories of veterans of the MPLA government's Forças Armadas pela Libertação de Angola (FAPLA), from birth until the time of fieldwork, and explores how the gendered consequences of war played out in everyday life ten years after the civil war came to an end. Firstly, it explores the historical and biographical constitution of these men's ethical sensibilities, exploring the layered influences of social patterns of different historical periods, and the moral upbringing of particular veterans and their subsequent evolution through the war. Secondly, it turns to an examination of the principal ethical challenges facing these veterans in 2012, especially those related to wartime urbanisation and the changing social valuation of money, and their effects on veterans' status as elder men and husband-providers. Thirdly, it considers two influential styles of masculinity adopted in response to these challenges: the companionatelymarried churchgoing man, and the womanising drinker, discussing the different ways that these styles engaged with the social legacies of the war. Finally, it considers the main ethical influence on public respectability for these men, which constituted the main dividing line between these different styles – that of the churches, and accounts for their continuing moral authority. The thesis seeks to contribute to literatures on masculinities, war and military service in Africa, and to demonstrate the insights that the lenses of gender and ethics can bring to an understanding of Angola's post-war transition.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology > GN406 Cultural traits, customs, and institutions > GN495.4 Societal groups, ethnocentrism, diplomacy, warfare, etc.
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology > GN537 Ethnic groups and races > GN652.5 West Africa > GN655.A5 Angola
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2016 10:56
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2021 10:01
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/61424

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