Abla Mehio Sibai, Aline Semaan, Jiana Tabbara and Anthony Rizk
In many countries of the Arab region, the demographic transition is already underway with a decrease in fertility and mortality and a rise in the proportion of older adults. Longer life expectancies and higher burden of non-communicable disease co-morbidities bring new health and social concerns to families, societies and governments. In a number of countries in the Arab region, this is compounded with political turmoil, forced displacement, dynamic migration flows and economic and social instability that deplete family cohesion and exhaust societal resources. Such challenges require systematic changes to healthcare and social services delivery. Amidst a number of strategies for interventions that aim at maximizing health and well-being in old age, we focus in this paper on three fundamental approaches that are largely lacking in the Arab region: an integrated and holistic model of healthcare, policies and programmes that incentivize ageing in place and homecare, and knowledge production addressing local concerns and priorities.
The article is a contribution to the debates on the topics of class divide and urban development in the ex-Socialist Bloc after the 1990 regime change. In the first part, it renders the roots and limitations of the middle class concept and shows the role the concept played in the transition narrative. After it elaborates on how the middle class can be understood within the broader discussion on contemporary global class restructuring under the neoliberal forces, in the second part the article provides, using qualitative data, a micro social and economic history of the city of Cluj-Napoca, which reveals and explains how flows of capital investments grant the economic conditions for a strata of people to embrace the middle class’s ideal and values, and how this new material basis is reflected in the spatial restructuring of the city.
This paper looks at a set of documents produced in the early 1950s in the Gold Coast to establish land boundaries in a region and to contribute to the crystallization of customary law for future reference and use. The material is placed in a longer historical flow and seen as one of the results of transformations in the metropole, in the colony, and in their relationship over the first decades of the century, and as a significant landmark collection that has been used in land transactions ever since. The analysis pleads for treating the archives in an ethnographic and not just in an extractive manner (Stoler, 2002, 2009), suggesting that the making, the form, the authors’ stances and the use of the documents can be useful supplementary tools in making sense of the already heavily edited representations of the past that we have access to. The focus on this particular archival material contributes to the discussions about the pitfalls of basing land management on, as Sally Falk Moore would put it, “customary” law.
This paper describes the circumstances surrounding the migration of older Latvian women and their multi-dimensional lives as economic migrants and as distant carers and supporters of diverse family members who remain in Latvia. In post-Soviet Latvia, especially since the 2008 financial crisis and the austerity measures which took away hope for a decent old-age pension, older women migrate abroad in order to salvage their economic wellbeing and support their multi-generation families, which can run to four generations – their children and grandchildren plus, often, their elderly parents. Migration enables these women to maintain multidirectional flows of care and also to achieve economic and psychosocial independence. Therefore, care practices that reach four generations put the figure of the grandmother at the core of transnational care relations. Research evidence for this paper comprises 50 in-depth interviews with older Latvian migrant women aged from their mid-40s to their late 60s in the UK and elsewhere. The paper demonstrates the complexity and richness of these women’s working lives, built around enhanced economic wellbeing, multiple and transnational caring responsibilities, and a new sense of self-worth and empowerment.
Part of the mobility and migration process, family relationships and mutual support are subject of various transformations. Spatial separation between family members creates a specific setting for analysis which leads to the necessity of understanding how family practices are arranged and developed across time and distance. The present study focuses on the dyad emigrated adult children and non-migrated elderly parents living in Romania and on the types of intergenerational family practices that occur between these dyads across national borders. Our analysis of family practices relies on tracing certain set of actions taken by family members in order to maintain, consolidate, and ultimately to display family solidarity. We consider here various forms of practices, namely technological mediated contacts, visits, time-consuming practical support and financial assistance. Analyses are based on the national survey entitled Intergenerational solidarity in the context of work migration abroad. The situation of elderly left at home, which provides empirical data about the relationships from a distance between elderly parents living in Romania and their migrant adult children. Descriptive statistics are provided in order to assess the flow directions, the frequency and the intensity of each type of intergenerational support. Our empirical evidence highlights that transnational support is asymmetrical and multidirectional. Results also support that intergenerational support and family relationships can no longer be theoretically approached in terms of a simple dichotomy.
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