‘Samora’s children’ – the celebration of (post-)socialist citizenship in Mozambique

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This paper interrogates the creation and afterlife of socialist beliefs and practices in the biographies of a cohort of people educated to become homens novos, conceived of as new socialist citizens. Its empirical part is based on the case study of the School of Friendship (SdF), an education project between Mozambique and East Germany.
The paper demonstrates that, the SdF was successful in creating a cohort of people for whom socialist solidarity was a key component of their identity. At the same time, they interpreted what a socialist citizen should be in their own way, thus using their education as what Bourdieu calls a strategy-generating institution. This enabled protagonists to navigate the post-socialist political order, not simply regarding socialism as the nostalgic reminder of a golden past. But the majority live and celebrate socialist citizenship among themselves, and hardly engage with political contestation in present day Mozambique.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-305
Number of pages19
JournalCanadian Journal of African Studies / Revue canadienne des études africaines
Issue number2
Early online date12 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2021


  • Mozambique
  • Post-socialism
  • Samora Machel
  • citizenship
  • solidarity

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


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