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

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


By (author) Mark Hunter

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  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 324 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 25mm | 476g
  • Publication date: 25 October 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Bloomington, IN
  • ISBN 10: 0253222397
  • ISBN 13: 9780253222398
  • Edition: 1
  • Illustrations note: 12 b&w illustrations, 2 maps
  • Sales rank: 703,758

Product description

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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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.

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

Table of contents

Acknowledgments; A Note on Racial Terms; List of Acronyms 1. Gender and AIDS in an Unequal World; 2. Mandeni: "The AIDS Capital of KwaZulu-Natal" Part 1 Revisiting Intimacy and Apartheid 3. Providing Love: Male Migration and Building a Rural Home; 4. Urban Respectability: Sundumbili Township, 1964-94; 5. Shacks in the Cracks of Apartheid: Industrial Women and the Changing Political Economy and Geography of Intimacy Part 2 Intimacy after Democracy, 1994 6. Postcolonial Geographies: Being "Left Behind" in the New South Africa; 7. Independent Women: Rights amid Wrongs, and Men's Broken Promises; 8. Failing Men: Modern Masculinities amid Unemployment; 9. All You Need Is Love? The Materiality of Everyday Sex and Love Part 3 Interventions 10. The Politics of Gender, Intimacy, and AIDS Glossary; Notes; Bibliography; Index