Moving jobs: occupational dynamics in the context of urbanisation in Kagera, Tanzania

Hanne Van Cappellen

This presentation is based on a paper that focuses on occupational mobility and the process of individual decision making in a context of rural-urban migration and urbanisation in Kagera, Tanzania. With a dataset of detailed life-history data from 75 purposively selected young adult migrants, it investigates how human agency feeds into job aspirations and capabilities as individuals move along their job trajectory through time and space.

By applying the aspirations and capabilities approach, we theorize how self-concept, human capital and socialization are three channels through which aspirations affect the occupational capability set. By linking the experiences, decision making and aspirations of the respondents to structural trends in the society, we are able to show how a rural decline combined with the ongoing urbanization in Tanzania impact job choices through the capacity to aspire. Special attention is paid to the role that small towns are playing in these processes of changing job patterns and labour dynamics.

By shedding light on the livelihood strategies in a context of urbanisation, this paper can add to a broader understanding of the effect of the steady urbanisation on rural areas, where the majority of the poor live and which is currently still poorly understood.

Keywords: occupational mobility, urbanisation, migration, life history, Tanzania