Hobsbawm's Theory Of Social Banditry In Southwest Africa

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1. Introduction and literature review Since the idea was first coined in 1959 , the debate over social banditry has raged in historic circles. Hobsbawm 's argument that a few individuals in the history of crime and politics surpass the status of the criminal to become representative of an oppressed group 's struggle has been either reinforced or attacked by historians. Even though it is still a relatively new area of study, remarkably little research has been done on social banditry in Southern Africa, and in particular South-western Africa. It is for this reason that the alleged murder of five Basters (as they were commonly known at the time) on the farm Klein Nauas in the Rehoboth Gebiet during May 1915 (during the German-Rehoboth war) will be used as a case study to examine social banditry in Southwest Africa. This situation in German Southwest Africa (now Namibia) serves as a starting point, to determine whether Hobsbawm’s model and archetype can be modelled into a Southern African context. The founding theories of social banditry, critiques and reviews on these theories as well as archival material from The Department of Defence will be used for this purpose. Secondary Source Material Because the concept of social banditry was first conceived in the late twentieth century, it is still a relatively new area of study and as such, original research and theories on the subject other that Eric Hobsbawm’s attempts are still in want. Most printed sources available on the

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