Older people play a key role in intergenerational households across the developing world, including in caring for the children of migrants. However, research on ‘translocal households’ in Africa and Asia focuses almost exclusively on households headed by working-age husbands and wives and fails to substantially incorporate older people, whether as household heads or household members. This paper presents findings from Kiboga District, Uganda on intrahousehold dynamics and wellbeing within translocal households containing older people and younger migrants. A relational approach is adopted to interrogate gendered notions of dependence, independence and interdependence within these intergenerational relationships. ‘Translocal interdependencies’ are found to underpin these households and are critical to the wellbeing of older people, migrants and their children. However, households are also diverse in character, occupying a ‘spectrum of translocality’ ranging from coherent, supportive translocal households, to those with less unified and less reliable – but often highly persistent – linkages between migrants and older people. Further, older women may overstate, and older men understate, the translocal support to which they have access, with important consequences for development programming targeted at older people. Debates about ageing and development need to reflect the key role played by older people within these gendered webs of translocal interdependence, while acknowledging and seeking to address the many challenges they face.
|Journal||Progress in Development Studies|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 21 Mar 2023|
- translocal households