Love in the Time of AIDS

Love in the Time of AIDS : Inequality, Gender, and Rights in South Africa

By (author) Mark Hunter


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In some parts of South Africa, more than one in three people are HIV positive. Love in the Time of AIDS explores transformations in notions of gender and intimacy to try to understand the roots of this virulent epidemic. By living in an informal settlement and collecting love letters, cell phone text messages, oral histories, and archival materials, Mark Hunter details the everyday social inequalities that have resulted in untimely deaths. Hunter shows how first apartheid and then chronic unemployment have become entangled with ideas about femininity, masculinity, love, and sex and have created an economy of exchange that perpetuates the transmission of HIV/AIDS. This sobering ethnography challenges conventional understandings of HIV/AIDS in South Africa.

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  • Paperback | 324 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 25.4mm | 476.27g
  • 25 Oct 2010
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN
  • English
  • 12 b&w illustrations, 2 maps
  • 0253222397
  • 9780253222398
  • 709,062

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Author Information

Mark Hunter is Assistant Professor in Social Sciences/Geography at the University of Toronto Scarborough and Research Associate in the School of Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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Review quote

"Beautifully, powerfully, and movingly written. The best analysis I have seen not only of the reasons for the HIV/AIDS pandemic in southern Africa, but of its wider socioeconomic, cultural, and political dynamics." Shula Marks, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London "One of the most exceptional studies of the response to HIV and AIDS." Richard Parker, Columbia University "This remarkable, readable book uses ethnography and historical analysis to offer a fresh look at the HIV and AIDS pandemic in South Africa. [Love in the Time of AIDS] is rich in ethnographic detail, especially life stories, and very convincing in its analysis... [A]n outstanding monograph from an important new scholar of Southern Africa." - The International Journal of African Historical Studies "The ethnography is at its strongest and most insightful when Hunter explores the intricacies of love and gender through detailed ethnography such as the inclusion of love letters and text messages and families' reactions and individuals to death and dying in the context of HIV/AIDS." - American Ethnologist

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