Ageing in Africa: Sociolinguistic and Anthropological Approaches

Ageing in Africa: Sociolinguistic and Anthropological Approaches

By: Koen Stroeken (author), Sinfree Makoni (editor)Hardback

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African gerontology has expanded dramatically as a discipline with population ageing and its consequences for societies and for individual experiences of ageing becoming prominent issues all over the continent. This volume therefore brings together some of the most prolific and skilful researchers working on ageing in Africa today. The book is based on sociolinguistic and anthropological research conducted in different regions of Southern Africa, West and East Africa, and in different types of communities, rural, urban and nomadic. Hence the book is able to adopt a pan-African slant to issues about ageing. The data and their interpretation are characterized by the richness, typicity and authenticity of both narratives and ethnographical fieldwork. Because the authors aim to present insider views and experiences of ageing in Africa from these diverse contexts, the book is able to distil common and variable aspects of ageing in Africa. These permit a formulation of critical models of ageing which are sensitive to the elderly person's experience and to the dynamics of the historical contexts in which are sensitive to the elderly person's experience and to the dynamics of the historical contexts in which elderly persons have lived. Critical models of ageing appear to shed a new light on the social change that affects all of us today. (e.g. post-apartheid, post-colonialism). The volume includes an introduction to the study of ageing, which proposes a conceptual apparatus that is transdisciplinary and cross-cultural. It also includes a concluding chapter sketching future directions of research and policy. The volume is divided into three sections: (1) Narratives and the construction of elderliness; (2) Cross-cultural perspectives on ageing and seniority; and (3) Crises and strategies of elderhood. The contributions employ a number of methodological approaches, ranging from discursive and literary analyses, to anthropological studies. The chapters in

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About Author

Sinfree Makoni, Long Island University, New York, USA Koen Stroeken, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium


Contents: Introduction: Towards transdisciplinary studies on Ageing in Africa, Sinfree Makoni and Koen Stroeken. Narratives and the Construction of Elderliness: Towards a cultural and linguistic construction of late-life dementia in an urban African population, Monica Ferreira and Sinfree Makoni; Identity management and old age construction among Xhosa-speakers in urban South Africa: complaint discourse revisited, Andreas Sagner; Imprints of history and economy across the life course of an elderly Namaqualander 1920-1996, Robin Oakley. Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Ageing and Seniority: From shrub to log: the ancestral dimension of elderhood among the Sukuma of Tanzania, Koen Stroeken; Coming of age and authority: milk as a source of power in Himbaland, Northern Namibia, Steven Van Wolputte; Social categories and seniority in a house-based society, Alexis B. Tengan. Crises and Strategies of Elderhood: Holding up the sky: gender, age and work among the Abuluyia of Kenya, Maria G. Cattell; Rhetoric of remembrance: privileged authority of the elders and the contested graduations of seniority, Stella Nyanchama-Okemwa; 'They don't listen': contemporary respect relations between Zulu grandmothers and grandchildren, Valerie MA,ller and Ayanda Sotshongaye; The toilet: dignity, privacy and care of elderly people in Kwahu, Ghana, Sjaak van der Geest; 'They do talk to us like children': language and intergenerational discourse in first-time encounters in an African township, Sinfree Makoni; Skeletons of the past, flesh and blood of the present: remembrance and older people in a South African context, Els van Dongen; Epilogue: African gerontology: critical models, future directions, Rene Devisch, Sinfree Makoni and Koen Stroeken; Dedication; Index.

Product Details

  • publication date: 14/10/2002
  • ISBN13: 9780754630043
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 306
  • ID: 9780754630043
  • weight: 567
  • ISBN10: 0754630048

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