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Ancestors and AntiretroviralsThe Bio-Politics of HIV/AIDS in Post-Apartheid South Africa$
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Claire Laurier Decoteau

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226064451

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226064628.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 21 May 2022

The Struggle for Life in South Africa's Slums

The Struggle for Life in South Africa's Slums

(p.24) One The Struggle for Life in South Africa's Slums
Ancestors and Antiretrovirals

Claire Laurier Decoteau

University of Chicago Press

This chapter describes the ethnographic setting for the book as a whole by painting a picture of everyday life in South Africa’s informal settlements. It introduces the reader to each of the primary ethnographic sites, as well as the central characters in the narrative. It also provides background on peoples’ ontological orientations and vulnerabilities. The chapter illustrates the profound health inequality that marks the landscape of post-apartheid South Africa and details how people cope with environmental suffering, the privatization of social services (including the introduction of pre-paid electricity and water meters), and chronic unemployment. More than anything, this chapter details the realities of contending with the mutual pandemics of poverty and AIDS.

Keywords:   health inequality, urban informal settlements, indigenous healing, witchcraft, ontological vulnerability, pre-paid services, environmental suffering, poverty, HIV, AIDS

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