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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Urchins, Loafers and the Cult of the Cowboy: Urbanization and Delinquency in Dar es Salaam, 1919-1961
Author:Burton, AndrewISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic terms:Tanzania
Great Britain
juvenile delinquency
History and Exploration
Urbanization and Migration
Law, Human Rights and Violence
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3647259
Abstract:During the British colonial period a substantial young African population emerged in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Both colonial officials and African elders viewed this with dismay. They felt the resulting demoralization of African youth posed a threat to both (African) authority and (colonial) order. In their attempts to assert control in Dar es Salaam, British colonial administrators took initiatives aimed at restricting the number of young Africans exposed to the urban environment. They also attempted to address more specific problems associated with the presence of large numbers of youth in Dar es Salaam - the growing number of crimes, and the distorting influence on the urban economy. Ironically, whilst British colonial policy aimed to keep African youth quiescent in rural, gerontocratic, tribal administrations, colonialism in fact provided the context in which both rapid urbanization and generational tension occurred. However, concerns over urbanization and unruly youth were not simply a product of the colonial situation. They were informed by earlier responses to these phenomena in Western societies. Imported vocabulary was one indication of this, with officials bemoaning the presence of African 'urchins' and 'spivs'. In Dar es Salaam officials were able to treat juvenile delinquency with a degree of success through the establishment of an approved school and an urban probation system. But they could not stem the youthful tide entering Dar es Salaam. Notes, ref., sum.