Gender distinctions were central to the ideological and discursive construction of ‘freedom’ in colonial plantation societies, but so too were ethnicity and national identity. This article examines the contested nature of masculinity in the making of free citizens in post-emancipation Jamaica through an analysis of government and missionary sources, popular petitions, public speeches, and newspapers from 1834 to 1865. Close readings of the tensions within these public texts and their official reception demonstrate how freed men worked within and against the dominant discourses of Christian liberalism and masculine individualism as the bases for national citizenship. The key argument is that in laying claim to a Christian and British identity, African-Jamaican men constituted their freedom not so much through a seclusion of women in a private domestic role, but more importantly through an exclusion of indentured East Indians who were negatively defined as ‘foreign’ heathens.
Sheller, M. (2005), "Her Majesty's Sable Subjects: Subaltern Masculinities in Post-Emancipation Jamaica", Davis, D.E. (Ed.) Political Power and Social Theory (Political Power and Social Theory, Vol. 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 71-99. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0198-8719(04)17003-8Download as .RIS
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