Sandra Staudacher

Health and Care of Elderly: “Children may help, Insha'Allah!” Ageing, Agency and Health in the City of Zanzibar, Tanzania

International social gerontologists argue that population aging will lead to an increased demand for health care and support services for the older persons, which can be hardly met, even in the most developed countries. In Africa, the study of aging and health is a new and interdisciplinary field of research. Especially when it comes to anthropological research the field is not yet well explored. The project aims to add new theoretical and empirical insights and thus make a contribution to the research field from the perspective of social anthropology. Particular emphasis is given to the examination of the links between agency and resilience.

In her PhD project "Aging, Agency and Health in Urbanizing Zanzibar" Sandra Staudacher writes on how people at the age of sixty years and above organize and practice their living and care arrangements in a changing urban and transnational Swahili society in the city of Zanzibar, Tanzania. In using a qualitative comparative approach, two topical and theoretical research priorities are approached: 1) lived experience of aging and health as expressed, for instance in living and care arrangements created in changing urban and transnational contexts; and 2) forms of agency in response to problematic situations in every day life.

Supervisor: Brigit Obrist

Co-Supervisor: Andrea Maihofer



Sandra Staudacher is assistant and PhD student at the Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Basel, Switzerland. She studied Social Anthropology and Law at the University of Basel (MA, 2011), as well as Law, Social Anthropology and French at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland (September 2007 - July 2008, Swiss Mobility Program). In the Swiss National Science Foundation, funded research project "Aging, Agency and Health in Urbanizing Tanzania", lead by Prof. Dr. Brigit Obrist, Sandra Staudacher is writing a PhD thesis.

Memberships: Centre for African Studies