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AIDS, Sex, and Culture: Global Politics and Survival in Southern Africa

ISBN: 978-1-4443-5910-7
304 pages
September 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
AIDS, Sex, and Culture: Global Politics and Survival in Southern Africa (144435910X) cover image
AIDS, Sex, and Culture is a revealing examination of the impact the AIDS epidemic in Africa has had on women, based on the author’s own extensive ethnographic research.

  • based on the author's own story growing up in South Africa
  • looks at the impact of social conservatism in the US on AIDS prevention programs
  • discussion of the experiences of women in areas ranging from Durban in KwaZulu Natal to rural settlements in Namibia and Botswana
  • includes a chapter written by Sibongile Mkhize at the University of KwaZulu Natal who tells the story of her own family’s struggle with AIDS
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List of Figures.

Preface – Southern Africa: A Personal Geography, History and Politics.

Acknowledgments.

Introduction Global Inequality, Women, and HIV/AIDS.

1. The Culture of Science and the Feminization of AIDS.

2. Imperial Moralities and Grassroots Realities.

3. The Transition to a New South Africa: Hope, Science, and Democracy.

4. Of Nevirapine and African Potatoes: Shifts in Public Discourse.

5. The Difference in Pain: Infected and Affected: By Sibongile Mkhize.

6. Contested Sexualities.

7. Public Spaces of Women’s Autonomy: Health Activism.

8. “Where Are Our Condoms?” – Namibia.

9. Ju/’hoansi Women in the Age of HIV: An Exceptional Case.

10. Changing Times, Changing Strategies: Women Leaders Among the Ju.

11. “The Power of Practical Thinking” – The Role of Organic Intellectuals.

12. Conclusions: Neoliberalism, Gender, and Resistance.

Notes.

Bibliography.

Index

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Ida Susser is Professor of Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center and adjunct professor of Socio-Medical Sciences at the HIV Center, Columbia University. Her books include Norman Street: Poverty and Politics in an Urban Neighborhood, Medical Anthropology in the World System (Oxford University Press, 1982), The Castells Reader on the Cities and Social Theory (Blackwell, 2001), and Cultural Diversity in the United States (Blackwell, 2001). She received an award for Distinguished Achievement in the Critical Study of North America from the Society for the Anthropology of North America, has served as President of the American Ethnological Society(2005-7), and is a founding member of Athena: Advancing Gender Equity and Human Rights in the Global Response to HIV/AIDS.
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  • based on the author's own story growing up in South Africa
  • looks at the impact of social conservatism in the US on AIDS prevention programs
  • discussion of the experiences of women in areas ranging from Durban in KwaZulu Natal to rural settlements in Namibia and Botswana
  • includes a chapter written by Sibongile Mkhize at the University of KwaZulu Natal who tells the story of her own family’s struggle with AIDS
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"The book makes an important contribution through its exploration into forms of resistance to gender inequality . . . The book provides a much-needed note of optimism in the field of gender and AIDS as well as a strong case for why interventions that seek to transform women's lives must be rooted in the lived experiences of women in particular historical and social contexts." (Journal of Global Health, 5 July 2011)

"Ida has produced an evocative and lively account of the intersection between global and local dynamics in the Southern African AIDS epidemic. . . it is an important book which will appeal to a wide inter-disciplinary audience.. (The Geographical Journal, 1 March 2010)

"AIDS, Sex, and Culture will make an excellent text for undergraduate and graduate courses in global health needing to enhance the quality of existing curricula. The many clinicians who have essential expertise to contribute to building health infrastructure but who do not have time to study the extensive social science literature on the less developed world will welcome this easy read." (JAMA, July 2010)"AIDS activists and policy makers will be both impressed and ultimately heartened." (CHOICE, January 2010)

"A brilliant analysis of sadness, deprivation and hope. A must-read for anyone interested in the social fabric of contemporary South Africa, for anyone committed to gender justice around AIDS."
Michael Burawoy, University of California, Berkeley

"AIDS, Sex, and Culture greatly deepens our understanding of the politics of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Susser's rich ethnography shows how local activism and women's desire for autonomy profoundly affect international, national, and scientific enterprises."
Emily Martin, New York University

"Ida Susser´s book is an exemplary demonstration of the social value of great scholarly research. It shows how patriarchal culture provides the ground for the formation of destructive networks of poverty, sex, and aids. Based on Susser´s cross-cultural ethnographic work it is a master piece of intellectually innovative, socially relevant research. It will be a key reference for social scientists aiming to understand the world in order to overcome our current misery. It should be mandatory reading for students, academics, and policy makers around the world."
Manuel Castells, University of California, Berkeley

An insightful, comprehensive, provocative personal and anthropological perspective across two decades on how the construction of gender has shaped responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in women in southern Africa and globally.
A must read for anyone interested in understanding and making a meaningful difference to the evolving HIV epidemic in women globally and in southern Africa.
Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa

Ida Susser offers a powerful statement of the forces that have shaped the epidemiology of AIDS in Africa. This visceral but unsentimental account places women's sexuality and reproductive autonomy -- as well as their unsubmissive assertion of rights to knowledge, health care, and bodily integrity --at the vortex of South Africa's transformations and is symptomatic of how gender inequities shape the face of AIDS in the world today.
Ann Stoler, The New School

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