Intergenerational Relationships & Care in Families

Project Research Description

The research is about relationships between adult members of families and wider kin groups, especially their significance as sources of practical and financial support. Supported financially by the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development, the study examines practices and perceptions of intergenerational support including financial, housing, childcare, domestic, and emotional support.  

The study examines the tensions and challenges that arise in providing and receiving such support and explores how family obligations vary by class, race, gender, generation and location. It also explores how government policies support (and overburden) family responsibilities.

How was the research done?

Since 2018 we have been working with over 100 households in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The research participants include men and women from diverse ethnic backgrounds, income groups and generations.  At least two members in different generations of one family participate in the study so that their different perceptions and practices of giving and receiving support could be understood.


Care of Older Persons Southern African Network
I am excited to announce that I have been awarded a Global Challenges Research Fund to develop a research network on the Care of Older Persons in Southern Africa for 2021. The grant supports the development of a network by bringing together researchers, NGOs and government officials from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana and Zimbabwe, and gerontologistss from the UK and aims to contribute to knowledge on the welfare of older people in the region, including the factors that will deliver the best outcomes for their care.

Knowledge generated from the Global South is urgently needed to contribute to global dialogue on ageing and care, which is currently almost entirely informed by the Global North. By building capacity, identifying gaps in knowledge, and prioritising research direction, the network’s activities will have significant long-term impact on older people in southern Africa.


Editorship Journal Special Issue

Social Protection, Intergenerational Relationships and Conflict in South Africa 2019.
Special Issue of Critical Social Policy (Co-edited with Jeremy Seekings).  Vol 39(4)

Journal Articles

Financing Social Reproduction:  Women’s responsibilities in financing and undertaking household social reproduction in multigenerational households in South Africa.
Revue internationale des études du développement. Care, inégalités et politiques aux Suds. Special Issue on Care, Inequalities and Policies in the Global South]. 242 (2)
Moore, E (2020)

Consequences of Social Protection on Intergenerational Relationships in South Africa.
Critical Social Policy. Vol 39(4) 513-524
Moore E and Seekings J (2019)

“South Africa’s Hybrid Care Regime: The changing and contested roles of individuals, families and the state after apartheid.”
Current Sociology, Special Issue: “Global Sociology of Care and Care Work”: 66(4) 602–616
Button, K., Moore, E., & Seekings, J. (2018)

Kinship, market and state in the provision of care in South Africa.
Soziale Welt. Sonderband 20, Nomos: Baden-Baden. 435—451.
Seekings, J., & Moore, E. (2014)

Students and Theses

Doctoral Theses

  • Isaac Chinyoka (2014-2018) How and why do states provide for children? A Comparative study of social grants to poor families with children across southern Africa. Co-supervising with Prof. Jeremy Seekings. [Graduate Dec 2018]
  • Mbokazi, Nonzuzo (2015-2020) Understanding Childcare Choices amongst Low-Income Employed Mothers in Urban and Rural KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Kirsty Button (2017-) Exploring financial and non-monetary resources/ support negotiations, control and consumption within low-income, multi-generational households in Cape Town.
  • Zandile Ndebele (2017-) Taxing black middle-class South African families and the potential for intergenerational wealth creation. Co-supervising with Prof. Tracy Gutuza.

Masters students

  • Kirsty Button, (2014-2016) Unemployment in Low-Income, African Female headed Households in Cape Town: household economies, survival strategies and support systems.
  • Sarah Badat, (2013-2016) How do South African Indian Muslim families negotiate intergenerational changes in religious practices?