Ageing in Sub-Sahara Africa: Shifting Landscapes of Moral Neoliberal Reforms 
Piet van Eeuwijk (University of Basel)
Brigit Obrist van Eeuwijk (University of Basel)
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Start time:
29 June, 2017 at 16:00 (UTC+0)
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Short Abstract:

The panel explores how current transfiguration of ageing, caused by shifting landscapes of moral neoliberal reforms in social welfare, health and related social fields, affect older people and intergenerational relations in urban and increasingly also rural areas.

Long Abstract

The transfiguration of ageing is a phenomenon of both urban spaces and urbanity in Sub-Sahara Africa. Emerging and shifting landscapes of moral neoliberal reforms, particularly in social welfare, health care and elder care, originate in cities but impact far beyond. A good example is the current strife for universal pension coverage. These reforms affect older people's everyday lives in urban centres but increasingly also in remoter areas, whether we think of these reforms as personal risk mitigation and bigger individual protection for older persons, capitalization of social relations such as elder care work, increased juridification of constitutional human rights of elderly people leading to individual claims, and projectification of older persons' social welfare concerns such as development organizations being engaged in profit-making institutionalized elder care. Moreover, global concepts like 'universal health coverage', 'healthy ageing', 'active ageing' or 'productive ageing', evolving from a neoliberal notion of a self-reliant, continually reflective and autonomously acting elderly individual, increasingly shape health services and practices in cities as well as in villages. Other reforms, like the ongoing privatization of important services such as water, electricity, health care, communication and transportation, also transfigure older people's everyday experience and practice, wherever they live.

The panel will not only explore how older people live these shifting landscapes of moral neoliberal reforms. We also invite speakers who reveal how younger people reflect about intergenerational relations and negotiate ideals of elder care morality against the background of these neoliberal transfigurations.

Accepted paper: