Current Institutional Affiliation
Sessional Lecturer, Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand

Award Information

Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship 2018
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand
‘Operating under the Radar’: Rethinking Forestry Plantation Workers’ Resistance & Quiescence in Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands, Chimanimani District.

This research explores the hidden everyday forms of resistance (or quiescence) that rural agrarian wage labour develops, and how it articulates them to negotiate constraints under agrarian accumulation. Conventional wisdom represents the overt, militant protests as the quintessence of class struggle. Little is known, in Africa that is theoretically and empirically nuanced, of the subtle, everyday practices of labour resistance. This study contributed to rural labour resistance literature and research in terms of the forms, nature and significance of the hidden, everyday struggle that the agrarian proletariat engages as it aims for social (re)production. Following one year's ethnographic evidence from two pine plantation estates, I argue that, in insecure labour situations, resistance is more likely to embody uneasy and erratic, contradictory and shifting alliances of different class, and status elements than to express the interests of a specific and unitary class/status subject. More so, rural proletariat protest as typical in everyday hidden practices of resistance represent claims of securing access to the means of social reproduction vis-à-vis agrarian capital and the state.