Redefining Clubbability: The Decolonization of British Colonial Clubland
During the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century, the clubbable colonizer elite—or ‘select people’—gave little thought towards opening clubland to the colonized elite. Clubland was deemed to be an exclusively European enclave and while the colonized elite were free to establish clubs of their own—and some did—few were deemed clubbable in the eyes of the ‘select people’.
This paper will argue the external and internal challenges the ‘select people’ confronted during the 1920s and 1930s compelled them to search for the ‘proper sort’—clubbable members of the colonized elite who would serve as their silent partners in the political, economic and social management of the colony. These challenges were the increasing dependency of the colonizer elite upon the colonized elite to operate the colonial bureaucracy, the rise of anti-imperialism abroad, the impact of the Great Depression upon the Sterling Area and the advent of indigenous reform movements.
This study also will seek to identify the core and peripheral criteria utilized by the colonizer elite to determine the clubbability of the colonized elite and assess the impact of the silent partnership which existed between the ‘proper sort’ and the ‘select people’ upon the colonial public sphere.
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