Studying intergenerational processes in 21st century rural African societies

  • Douglas Tendai Phiri


This paper illustrates the impact of political economy on young people’s life courses and intergenerational
processes in rural Africa. Rapid transformations and social changes in rural Africa often as
a result of political economy contributes to the increasing malleability of rural contexts and tensions
across the life courses of children and youth. The temporality and spatiality of globalisation are illustrated
using the neo-liberal policies in the Economic Structural Adjustments Programmes (ESAPs) and
the global educational policies in the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). The paper discusses the
epistemological and methodological implications of political economy in rural African societies including
approaches that capture complex interpenetrating factors contributing towards “constructions of
young lives”, “contexts and identities” and “agency and social responsibilities”.


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