Ageing, Agency and Health in Urbanizing Tanzania

Thematic Focus:
Knowledge Production and Transfer, Life Sciences and Health
Involved Countries:
Switzerland, Tanzania

Is Affiliated to:

Received Funding By:

Project Management: Brigit Obrist; Obrist van Eeuwijk

Persons involved

Sandra Staudacher; Andrea Patricia Grolimund; Piet Van Eeuwijk


Start: 01. Apr 2012
End 31. Jan 2016


The project ‘Ageing, Agency and Health in Urbanizing Tanzania’ aims at expanding our approach to health and ageing both spatially and topically by examining three interrelated research questions: (1) What are key health concerns of women and men who grow old in local, translocal and transnational contexts of urbanizing Tanzania? (2) What do they think can or should be done about these concerns, and by whom? (3) How do their health practices resonate with Western discourses of ‘Successful’ or ‘Active Ageing’? Using a comparative qualitative approach developed in the previous projects, we first concentrated on ethnographic case studies of older people in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. The planned expansion will allow us to follow up on translocal and even transnational family connections of older people in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar which expand from the United States and to Oman, as well as emergent forms of institutional care for elderly in Tanzania. To deepen our approach, diverse forms of agency in response to health concerns identified through ethnographic studies, also with a focus on non-communicable diseases, will be explored in these broader contexts and mirrored against Western discourses of ‘Successful’ or ‘Active Ageing’.