Unimagined Community: Sex, Networks, and AIDS in Uganda and South Africa / Edition 1

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Overview


This groundbreaking work, with its unique anthropological approach, sheds new light on a central conundrum surrounding AIDS in Africa. Robert J. Thornton explores why HIV prevalence fell during the 1990s in Uganda despite that country's having one of Africa's highest fertility rates, while during the same period HIV prevalence rose in South Africa, the country with Africa's lowest fertility rate. Thornton finds that culturally and socially determined differences in the structure of sexual networks—rather than changes in individual behavior—were responsible for these radical differences in HIV prevalence. Incorporating such factors as property, mobility, social status, and political authority into our understanding of AIDS transmission, Thornton's analysis also suggests new avenues for fighting the disease worldwide.
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Editorial Reviews

Nature

“Makes a strong case.”
Journal Royal Anthro Inst

“Readers of this book are given new ways to think about sex and behviour change campaigns.”
The Journal Of Africa

“[Thornton] succeeds in showing the important role that anthropological research has to play in the field of HIV prevention.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520255531
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 9/2/2008
  • Series: California Series in Public Anthropology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Robert J. Thornton is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa and author of The Early Writings of Bronislaw Malinowski and Space, Time, and Culture among the Iraqw of Tanzania. His articles have appeared in Current Anthropology and American Ethnologist.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Note on Ethnic Names and Languages

1 Introduction: Meaning and Structure in the Study of AIDS 1

2 Comparing Uganda and South Africa: Sexual Networks, Family Structure, and Property 33

3 The Social Determinants of Sexual Network Configuration 56

4 The Tightening Chain: Civil Society and Uganda's Response to HIV/AIDS 83

5 AIDS in Uganda: Years of Chaos and Recovery 100

6 Siliimu as Native Category: AIDS as Local Knowledge in Uganda 115

7 The Indigenization of AIDS: Governance and the Political Response in Uganda 130

8 South Africa's Struggle: The Omission and Commission of Truth about AIDS 149

9 Imagining AIDS: South Africa's Viral Politics 171

10 Flows of Sexual Substance: The Sexual Network in South Africa 195

11 Preventing AIDS: A New Paradigm for a New Strategy 220

Notes 235

References 257

Index 275

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