Ancestors And Antiretrovirals: The Biopolitics Of Hiv/aids In Post-apartheid South Africa by Claire Laurier Decoteau

Ancestors And Antiretrovirals: The Biopolitics Of Hiv/aids In Post-apartheid South Africa

byClaire Laurier Decoteau

Paperback | September 30, 2013

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In the years since the end of apartheid, South Africans have enjoyed a progressive constitution, considerable access to social services for the poor and sick, and a booming economy that has made their nation into one of the wealthiest on the continent. At the same time, South Africa experiences extremely unequal income distribution, and its citizens suffer the highest prevalence of HIV in the world. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu has noted, “AIDS is South Africa’s new apartheid.”

In Ancestors and Antiretrovirals, Claire Laurier Decoteau backs up Tutu’s assertion with powerful arguments about how this came to pass. Decoteau traces the historical shifts in health policy after apartheid and describes their effects, detailing, in particular, the changing relationship between biomedical and indigenous health care, both at the national and the local level. Decoteau tells this story from the perspective of those living with and dying from AIDS in Johannesburg’s squatter camps. At the same time, she exposes the complex and often contradictory ways that the South African government has failed to balance the demands of neoliberal capital with the considerable health needs of its population.

About The Author

Claire Laurier Decoteau is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she teaches courses in social theory, the sociology of knowledge, and health and medicine. She is also a research associate in the Department of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She ...

Details & Specs

Title:Ancestors And Antiretrovirals: The Biopolitics Of Hiv/aids In Post-apartheid South AfricaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:344 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:September 30, 2013Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022606459X

ISBN - 13:9780226064598

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Note on Terminology
Introduction Postcolonial Paradox

1 The Struggle for Life in South Africa’s Slums
2 A State in Denial
3 Biomedical Citizenship
4 The Politicization of Sexuality
5 Hybridity

Coda Life Strategies


Editorial Reviews

“Ancestors and Antiretrovirals is timely and relevant. . . . Decoteau’s inventive use of theory, able analysis of discourse, and commitment to tether her work to lived experience provide a model for young scholars. The postcolonial paradox Decoteau formulates—and her examination of the discursive uses of ‘tradition’ and ‘modernity’ to resolve its abiding challenge—not only illuminates AIDS conflicts of the recent past, but also offers useful tools for analyzing current and future political contestation in postapartheid South Africa.”