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Penny Vera-Sanso Development Studies Birkbeck College November 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Penny Vera-Sanso Development Studies Birkbeck College November 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Penny Vera-Sanso Development Studies Birkbeck College November 2006

2 Life course and old age as a relational category age as relational concept politics of research? –Our objectives? –Life course framework as facilitator?

3 Objectives of research? As basis for social policy interventions to rectify/ameliorate inequalities- by championing vulnerable sections? to enhance national competitiveness? If basis for policy interventions – What are the effects on analysis and methodology? research generations separately? emph one generations perspectives/interests over (an)others? accept/reify the idea of age categories?

4 Age is relational Issue is Not who is young or old? but who is young or old in relation to whom/what? When does age make a difference? Why is it considered to make a difference? –studied at micro level –studied at macro level

5 Life cycle Perspective birth – maturation growing old – death GREATEST NEED DECLINING NEED GREATEST PRO/REPRO CAPACITY Needs/rights is devoid of history, change, causality, eg of Indian life cycle kidsAdultsOlder adults education+ medical leisureDeclining needs Marriage costs+ Housing (comfort/privacy) ++Declining needs foodDeclining needs Status consumption Declining needs

6 Life course perspective Brings in the macro Not just that need changes over one persons life-time Also how/why that need has changed between generations Do changes in the pol and ec spheres change relations and aspirations differentially across generations?

7 India – intergenerational effects of: 1.agri paid in kind (but disproportionate deaths of the old during famine – not a golden age for intergenerational relations) 2.monetarisation of agri – cash cropping 3.independence – ec modernisaton/soc justice ed/health/caste/class in formal sector (Caldwell) 4.neoliberal growth – family/market place global economy – rising consumption and prod pressures – sharpen/create pressure in family Discourse – rights/duties/obligations/bargain

8 kidsYoung adultsOld adults educationrising medical leisurerising declining Marriage costsrising Housing (comfort/privacy) rising declining foodrising declining Status consumption rising declining Needs/rights

9 Social changes driven by & reflected at –discursive level –changes in social relations From the perspective of the old changes have: –increasingly alienated them from the products of their labour. –development is predicated on this alienation.

10 People and family wealth = embodied labour of older generation 1.young exchange (only their?) labour for money 2.rights of younger generations – means of appropriating labour of older generation (embodied in young and property) 3.if: take the macro analysis of the Paul Cammack kind making the poor (everybody) work for globalisation then: escalator benefiting the global system rights of kids vis-à-vis family is less about kids rights than the means of alienating parental labour increasing child rights – more labour extracted from old

11 Conclusion 1.Age is a relational category : cant effectively study one age group without the others. 2.Analytical value of the life course framework: - forces us down lines of enquiry/ways of thinking –that are non-static –do not accept naturalised ways of thinking –macro/historical perspective on the local (issue of historical evidence on the poor remains) 3.Political value of a relational perspective combined with the life course framework? - facilitate public debate about intergenerational relations (rather than a segmented approach which is orientated towards generating policies that mediate between what are presented as competing interests).

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