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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The generational contract in flux: intergenerational tensions in post-conflict Sierra Leone
Author:Boersch-Supan, Johanna
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies (ISSN 0022-278X)
Geographic term:Sierra Leone
Subjects:generation conflicts
social status
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/41474958
Abstract:Intergenerational solidarity and reciprocity are fundamental building blocks of any society. Simultaneously, socio-generational groups constantly struggle for influence and authority. In Africa, disproportionately male, gerontocratic and patrimonial systems governing economic, social and political life lend a special explosiveness to the social cleavage of generation. This paper draws on the concept of the generational contract to explore whether Sierra Leone's civil war - labelled a 'revolt of youth' - catalysed changes in the power asymmetries between age groups. The author argues that youth question fundamental norms of intergenerational relations, and challenge local governance structures demanding changes to the generational contract. Amidst a strong continuity of gerontocratic dominance and counter-strategies from elders, youth draw on organizational forms and a local human rights discourse to create spaces for contestation and negotiation. These openings hold potential for long-term rearrangements of societal relations. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]