We are one: the emergence and development of national consciousness in Tanzania
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This thesis examines the emergence and development of national consciousness and identity in the East African nation Tanzania. A work in the science of humanity, it connects traditional social sciences through the approach of mentalism. To date, research on African nationalism centers on the nation-state and national party, and on the teleological assumption that nation building implies cultural unification within the boundaries of the state's territory. National sovereignty is seen as a natural desire; nationalism in Africa is conflated with anti-colonialism and treated as the inevitable transition from the colonial to post-colonial order. Yet this approach to the study of African nationalism cannot account for many important processes, such as why many African states have failed, why corruption is rampant, and why authoritarian regimes predominate. I argue many aspects of modern African history are impossible to understand without recognizing that nationalism ushers in modernity and transforms and affects the major cultural institutions. I show how the process of national identity formation within Tanzania was the same process that occurs elsewhere. Nationalism did not exist in Tanzania among the native inhabitants prior to independence. Moreover, the creation of a shared sense of national identity began only after independence: the independent state was not a nation. In examining the national image created by several integral Tanzanian intellectuals, I reflect both on the significance they placed on their narratives and how it shaped the wider social world and the identities of those they influenced. My argument regarding Tanzania may apply to Africa more generally. The processes I described appear true of social and political developments across the continent. Many in Africa do now see themselves as equal members of sovereign societies and believe that the people are the ultimate source of political legitimacy. This work provides a methodology and argument that can be applied to address additional questions of how specifically nationalism has transformed African societies.