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Entangled navigations: Intergenerational care relations in neoliberal eduscapes in Benin

Title data

Alber, Erdmute:
Entangled navigations: Intergenerational care relations in neoliberal eduscapes in Benin.
In: Critique of Anthropology. Vol. 43 (2023) Issue 4 . - pp. 365-384.
ISSN 1460-3721

Official URL: Volltext

Project information

Project title:
Project's official title
Project's id
Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence at the University of Bayreuth
EXC 2052/1 – 390713894

Project financing: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Abstract in another language

Though often overlooked, parental navigations play an important role in the difficult pathways of rural children through changing eduscapes in northern Benin. Arguing that parents are deeply involved in their children’s trajectories towards making a living, I analyse the care and support parents see themselves as responsible for. A neoliberal and increasingly privatized schooling system creating unequal chances in combination with the demand of ‘Education for all’ responsibilizes parents for their children’s success, and a tight labour market makes it additionally difficult for youth to find positions in the urban space. In consequence, parents are more intensively investing in their children’s education and related costs than ever before, without feeling that these investments lead to what parents value as success. Due to the lack of parental experience in the neoliberal eduscapes and the lack of cultural and social capitals – parents describe it as ‘blindness’ – parental actions in the eduscapes could best be described as navigations which are entangled with those of their children. In these navigations, parents give their children what they never received from their own parents, but also expect or hope them to become what they never were. Both parents and children navigate, I argue, towards an unknown and uncertain future in ‘radical openness’.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Benin; intergenerational relations; neoliberal schooling; parents; responsibilization
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Chair Social Anthropology > Chair Social Anthropology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Erdmute Alber
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields > African Studies
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Chair Social Anthropology
Profile Fields
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 300 Social sciences
300 Social sciences > 300 Social sciences, sociology and anthropology
300 Social sciences > 370 Education
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2023 08:41
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2024 07:30