Love in the Time of AIDS

Love in the Time of AIDS

Inequality, Gender, and Rights in South Africa
Mark Hunter
Distribution: South Africa
Publication date: 10/25/2010
Format: Hardback 12 b&w illus., 2 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-35533-1
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Winner, 2010 C. Wright Mills Award, SSSPWinner, Amaury Talbot Prize for African Anthropology

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.

Author Bio

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.


“One of the most exceptional studies of the response to HIV and AIDS.”
 — Richard Parker, Columbia University

“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

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Table of Contents

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<N>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<N>
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