SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Gardner, Roy (1986) Serowe: A distinctive form of African urbanism? PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
Download (22MB)


This thesis details the establishment, organisation and development of Serowe from 1902 to 1972 and through the analysis of the nature of Serowe society seeks to show that Serowe represents a distinctive form of African urbanism. Chapter I reviews the nature of urban settlements. Chapter II summarises major changes that have taken place in the field of urban geography and in particular considers the impact of the urban environment on ways of living. Chapter II concludes with a consideration of alternative conceptualisations of urbanism and illustrates the process of urban transformation. Chapter III focuses upon urbanisation in Africa with a broad overview of movements in African urbanism, using Yoruba urbanism as a case study. Chapter III concludes with descriptions of five selected aspects of African urbanism, namely primacy, ethnicity, occupational development, spatial arrangements and housing types. Chapters IV to VIII provide a detailed description of Serowe and are based on field work carried out in 1965 and 1966, Chapter IV traces the origin of the nucleus of the baNgwato of Botswana and the early history of Serowe. Chapter V reviews the sociological factors affecting the organisation of Serowe and stresses the importance of the Chief and the ward in the layout and development of the settlement. Chapter VI considers the impact of the geology of the Serowe area on the growth of Serowe and demonstrates the importance of water. Chapter VII traces the growth in size of Serowe in the context of national and regional totals and concludes with a summary of the major periods of growth. Chapter VIII provides a detailed description of Serowe in 1972. Chapter IX identifies the unique features of Serowe, traces changes in the social organisation resulting from non-indigenous influences, relates Serowe to the theories of urbanism and concludes that Serowe can be classified as urban.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:08

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item