The Mau Mau: A Theoretical Explanation of the Dynamics of a Social Movement"
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This article provides a theoretical explanation of the origins, organization and fortunes of one of Africa's celebrated anti-colonial movements. it applies social movement theory to explain the rise and fall of the Mau Mau, a Kenyan anti-colonial movement that engaged the British colonial authorities in fierce battles in an uprising tjat lasted four years, between 1952 and 1956. Adopting an eclectic theoretical approach combining the Classical, Resource, Mobilisation and Political Process models of social movement, the article is premised on the belief that a theoretical dissection of the movement's aims, methods and operational environment goes a long way in resolving the academic and political controversies that have dogged the Mau Mau question. Due to the magnitude of Social-political and economic changes that accompanied colonialism, the classical model helps in explaining the social and psychological impact in the colonized. The resource Mobilisation model explains how the availability or non-availability of resource affected the Mau Mau. The Political Process model is useful to the extent that it shows the opportunity framework within which the movement operated. Mau Mau's fortunes, it is argued, oscillated within the parameters of expanding and contracting opportunities.