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Swetlana Torno: Life-Course Management and Social Security in Later Life: Women’s Biographical Practices Spanning Generations and Historical Contexts in Tajikistan. [Abstract]

The qualitative and quantitative study of life courses represents an important branch of sociological research and is an interesting case for Global Sociology. While characterized by thematic and methodological diversity, this wide research field has rarely looked beyond the countries of the Global North, and most of its key concepts were formulated based on studies in the Euro-American context. Taking an ethnographic research project on women’s life courses in Tajikistan as its starting point, this paper examines how analytical concepts associated with the life-course paradigm can travel transnationally and asks what we can learn from transposing these concepts to a non-European setting. More specifically, it brings concepts such as linked lives and the intersection of individual, family, and historical time into conversation with empirical data collected through the genealogical method, biographical interviews, and participant observation. This paper focuses on women’s life-course practices to secure care in later life in post-independence Tajikistan and advances the argument that women in advanced ages become central actors in safeguarding family livelihoods and old-age care by carefully shaping their own life trajectories and managing their children’s.

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