Generationen-Bande.Ordnung, Praxis und Geschichte der Generationenbeziehungen bei den Lama (Kabiye) im nördlichen Togo


Dr. Tabea Häberlein

Research Area:



What happens between the generations of African families? Who helps whom, how are elderly people supported, and is social security intergenerationally ensured?

Intergenerational relationships and particularly the changes of role and status of elderly people in north-eastern Togo (Kabiye region) are in the centre of interest of my PhD project. My focus lies on resource flows between the generations and here particularly at those which ensure the supply for the elderly.

I spent one year in a small village called Asséré in north-eastern Togo near the frontier to Benin. There I run quantifying surveys to investigate intergenerational family resource flows. Furthermore I worked with qualitative research methods like biographical and semi-structured interviews.

On the background of my field research, I analyze first the social construction of age (age classes) and its impact on the supply of younger and older family members. Second, I show the intergenerational family resource flows of the daily life to aim at the current conditions of social security of elderly people -- beside the normative responsibilities within the families. Third, I follow the historical impact of changing life courses as well as power and status positions within the families. The analytical concept of 'generation' is to be understood as very dynamic: always fluent under external influences and historical changes it structures both daily life and social order in family and community.