Sibling caringscapes: time–space practices of caring within youth-headed households in Tanzania and Uganda
Evans, R. (2012) Sibling caringscapes: time–space practices of caring within youth-headed households in Tanzania and Uganda. Geoforum, 43 (4). pp. 824-835. ISSN 0016-7185
To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2012.02.004
This paper investigates the time–space practices of young people caring for their siblings in youthheaded households affected by AIDS in Tanzania and Uganda. Based on qualitative exploratory research with young people heading households, their siblings, NGO workers and community members, the article develops the notion of sibling ‘caringscapes’ to analyse young people’s everyday practices and caring pathways through time and space. Participatory time-use data reveals that older siblings of both genders regularly undertake substantial caring tasks at the very high end of the caregiving continuum. Drawing on rhythmanalysis, the paper explores how young people negotiate emotional geographies and temporalities of caring. The competing rhythms of bodies, schooling, work and seasonal agricultural production can result in ‘arrhythmia’ and time scarcity, which has detrimental effects on young people’s health, education,future employment prospects and mobility. Young people’s lifecourse transitions are shaped to a large extent by their caring responsibilities, resulting in some young people remaining in a liminal position for considerable periods, unable to make ‘successful’ transitions to adulthood. Despite structural constraints,however, young people are able to exercise some autonomy over their caring pathways and lifecourse transitions. The research sheds light on the ways that individuals embody the practices, routines and rhythms of everyday life and exercise agency within highly restricted broader landscapes of care.