Anth18
Old age and migration: an African perspective

Convenors:
Marta Scaglioni (University of Bayreuth/Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca)
Discussant:
Giovanna Santanera (Università di Milano Bicocca)
Stream:
Social Anthropology
Location:
Appleton Tower, Seminar Room 2.07
Wednesday 12 June, 16:15-18:00

Short abstract:

The panel addresses the predicaments, experiences, and late-age plans of African migrants. It wishes to delve into issues such as generational gaps, changing social roles within the diasporas, and access to institutional facilities and welfare programs, through diverse methodological approaches.

Long abstract:

The fact that Africa is a demographically young continent, and that during the last two decades millions of African youths have trod the 'back road' of irregular migrations, has diverted public and scholarly attention from the predicament of the elderly generations of African migrants. Return to the home country is an expectation both for the migrants and for their host-contexts, even when the former have the benefits of citizenship. Yet, resettling in Africa in the late part of life is not always a viable option. Health access is an issue. The material and social investments made in the home country during the time spent abroad are another one. They must be consistent so as to grant the recognition that stems from being an elderly person able to care for himself/herself and for others as well: elderly brothers and sisters, friends and the many unemployed kin and kindred that are part of today African social landscapes. This panel addresses the experience of ageing in the diaspora, through the analysis of process of renegotiation of the social role of elderly people, gaps between generations of migrants, and changing life-span trajectories. It welcomes contributions on care within migrations, access to institutional facilities and to welfare programs for elderly African migrants in host-contexts and home-countries, return projects or late-age plans. We wish to gather diverse methodological approaches, such as life course perspectives, oral history, ethnographic accounts, historical and cross-cultural comparative studies.