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Accepted Paper:

Those who wait: late life lingerings and generational succession in Kenya  
Mark Lamont (The Open University)

Paper long abstract:

This paper is about generations and relational ageing within Kenyan families, and asks what part waiting plays in collective social experience. With an ethnographic focus on several rural Kenyan families, what methodologies can anthropologists develop to study the affective materiality of generational succession? This paper explores a social context where age-set formation has historically defined the timing and anticipation of succession. By fixing attention on the shifting relations between proximate and adjacent generations in the last thirty years or so, it emerges that the role of parenting and grand-parenting has changed in ways that have provoked something of a moral panic about the youth of today, while eclipsing the status of late life. As succession is fraught with conflict embedded in the affective materiality of property, especially of land and houses, many Kenyans are compelled to forge new kinds of relationships within families based on individualized aspirations, thereby re-evaluating reciprocity.

Panel W028
Family dynamics and practical kinship in Africa
  Session 1