Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationYale U.
Grant numberGr. 9249
Approve DateApril 8, 2016
Project TitleSadruddin, Aalyia, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Late-Life Caregiving and Aging in Post-Genocide Rwanda,' supervised by Dr. Catherine Panter-Brick
AALYIA SADRUDDIN, then a graduate student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, was awarded funding in April 2016 to aid research on “Late-Life Caregiving and Aging in Post-Genocide Rwanda,” supervised by Dr. Catherine Panter-Brick. Population aging is an issue of rising global importance. Very little, however, is known about older persons’ care arrangements in settings where socio-economic transformations are challenging historically dominant narratives of elderhood, late-life care, and intergenerational relationships. The grantee examines these issues in Rwanda, where new configurations and expectations of care are flourishing due to increased rates urbanization, youth mobility, and economic development in the aftermath of the 1994-genocide. Based on fourteen-months of ethnographic research, conducted across rural, peri-urban, and urban Rwanda, the research presents the dynamic ways in which older women and men – who despite losing their spouses, children, and land before or during the genocide – are cultivating a renewed sense of belonging and dignity through the establishment of personalized care networks. Data for this research were collected via participant observation, semi-structured and genealogical interviews, and media analysis and textual discourse. By offering a relational understanding of care, the research broadens anthropological narratives about the connections and conflicts between older and younger persons in a region of the world where both are often pitted against it each other. An approach of this kind sheds much needed light on older Africans as active agents and on care as a practice that mirrors the fabric of society.