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University of California Press
Unimagined Community: Sex, Networks, and AIDS in Uganda and South Africa / Edition 1

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

by Robert ThorntonRobert Thornton
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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520255531
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 09/02/2008
Series: California Series in Public Anthropology , #20
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About 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.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Note on Ethnic Names and Languages

1. Introduction: Meaning and Structure in the Study of AIDS
2. Comparing Uganda and South Africa: Sexual Networks, Family Structure, and Property
3. The Social Determinants of Sexual Network Configuration
4. The Tightening Chain: Civil Society and Uganda’s Response to HIV/AIDS
5. AIDS in Uganda: Years of Chaos and Recovery
6. Siliimu as Native Category: AIDS as Local Knowledge in Uganda
7. The Indigenization of AIDS: Governance and the Political Response in Uganda
8. South Africa’s Struggle: The Omission and Commission of Truth about AIDS
9. Imagining AIDS: South Africa’s Viral Politics
10. Flows of Sexual Substance: The Sexual Network in South Africa
11. Preventing AIDS: A New Paradigm for a New Strategy


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Makes a strong case."—Nature

"Readers of this book are given new ways to think about sex and behviour change campaigns."—Journal Royal Anthro

"[Thornton] succeeds in showing the important role that anthropological research has to play in the field of HIV prevention."—The Journal of Africa

Customer Reviews