Demographers have long been interested in the relationship between living arrangements and social, economic, and health risks in sub-Saharan Africa. Ongoing interests stem from the understanding of household organisation, with particular emphasis in examining its contribution to sociodemographic outcomes, such as fertility, labour mobility, and health. However, African households are characterised by their complex and dynamic nature. Particularly in rural South Africa, a combination of rapid socio-political and health events along with the long-embedded (extended) familial system has created complex household configurations which may consist of a mixture of kin, relatives, and grandparents, with residents born in different cohorts and socioeconomic bands. In this presentation, we will discuss an exploratory study that aims to approach household complexity and dynamics using a household-centred method to quantitatively summarise the typologies, changes, and transitions of rural South African households over time.
Shao-tzu Yu works as a research assistant under the HIV40 project, with a particular focus on using latent variable methods to examine HIV vulnerabilities over the life course. He is also a PhD student at the School of Demography. His PhD thesis examines the social aspects of intergenerational educational mobility in rural South Africa, focusing on the extent to which families, networks, and the structural environment impose opportunities and constraints on educational attainment amongst post-apartheid children.
Brian Houle is a co-investigator on the US National Institute on Aging R01 grant "HIV after 40 in rural South Africa: Aging in the context of an HIV/AIDS epidemic." His research focuses on two main areas: (1) understanding the emerging dual burden of infectious and non-communicable diseases in Africa; and (2) identifying modifiable social and contextual determinants to improve maternal and child health.