GGRB28H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Shanty Town, Multiple Sex Partners, Sexually Transmitted Infection

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5 Jul 2012
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-south Africa was not affected because they were under white government rule
-Post Apartheid have affects the infections of HIV
-Traditional south Africa people migrate often
-Blacks were moved out to work in mines
-Post apartheid women are migrated
-they were living in poorer conditions and they had to find work
-women chose men with good jobs but after men were unemployed and therefore
they didn't want to marry
-this means people will have multiple partners (this is not prostitutions)
-People loving each other and since it was casual they had multiple partner and
therefore HIV spread more quickly
-south Africa different reality than Africa however still led to higher rates of HIV and
AIDS
-after nelson Mandela stepped down the new government denied its roots
-for example they said ARVs are poison and they said that HIV and AIDS can be cured
by healthy practices
-government wanted to bring down the blame of HIV from Africans
-High rates of unemployment
-country struggling financially
-allowed south Africa to parallel import
and compulsory licensing
-treatment act campaign that came into help who were about ARV and prevent
mothers from transferring HIV to children
-south African government got the act through but didn't apply it to ARVs
-TAC fought the government and TAC won and now MTCT was implement
-hurt a lot of people
-dramatically reduced marital rates, and the extensive geographical movement of
women as well as men in contemporary South Africa. These social forces are perhaps
materialized most vividly in the country’s burgeoning informal settlements where HIV
rates are reported to be almost twice as high as they are in rural and urban areas
-a population that is typically young, unmarried, and without secure work, informal
settlements are testimony not only to the failure of the state to create viable jobs and
build adequate housing, but to a set of dynamics that have been largely neglected in
the study of the AIDS pandemic
-First, the complex interplay between race, class, and geography belie a single
political economy of sex. It is important to state up front therefore that this article
mainly considers poor South Africans and specifically those classified as ‘African
under apartheid—the primary occupants of informal settlements. Second, the paper
considers in greatest detail the spatial movements and livelihoods of women and not
men (on related changes in masculinities as a consequence of unemployment and
inequalities)
-Third, although these arguments evolve out of extensive ethnography in an informal
settlement, the article draws mostly from secondary data and is aimed at a broader
level of analysis. Fourth, this article considers only one side of the political economy
of sex, namely sexual relationships between men and women; it does not look at the
connection between political economy, same-sex relationships and AIDS or, indeed,
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sexual violence and AIDS. But a final important caveat must be made—sex and AIDS
should not be too easily equated.
-there is strong evidence for a changing political economy of sex relevant to the way
we conceive of the social dynamics linking sex to HIV transmission. It is clear that
most African women today are no longer waiting in rural areas to be infected by their
migrant partners
-One branch of this work examines the changing social roots of sexually transmitted
infections. Recent ethnographies from the ‘Third World’, for instance, demonstrate
how global trade and the informalization of work can propel women into the sexual
economy
-ethnographic research also shows how unemployment and poverty can fuel multiple
sexual partners
-Especially over the last century, colonialism and apartheid molded the contours of
sexual relations in South Africa in distinctive ways. Migrant labor, an institution
entrenched in the 19th century following the discovery of gold and diamonds,
restricted Africans from settling in urban areas and forced men into long absences
from their rural homes. Men’s relationships with urban ‘prostitutes’ helped to fuel the
syphilis epidemic that peaked in the first half of the century
-sex can only partly explain such large geographical variations in HIV prevalence;
higher infection rates in informal settlements compared to richer areas are in part a
consequence of inadequate water, nutrition, and sanitation and the general poor
state of health in the former.
Beyond the male migrant: towards a new political economy of sex
-Three dimensions of the contemporary political economy of sex are important to
understand: (1) rising unemployment and the marginalization of women; (2) rapidly
declining marital rates; (3) the growth in women’s movement, often in circular
migration patterns that pivot around a rural ‘home’.
Unemployment, new social inequalities and the marginalization of poor women
-Under apartheid, work for African men and women was typically dangerous,
humiliating, and insecure; what’s more, oppressive state policies such as ‘forced
removals’ and the hated pass laws made
even the most basic decisions, such as where to live, highly charged.
-The first casualties of economic crisis were African men; a new class of men who had
never been formally employed quickly came into existence. But not all men lost out.
-As rural areas continued their decline, therefore, women were pushed into poorly
remunerated and highly unstable informal work; consequently, women’s median
income fell sharply in the post-apartheid period
-African marriage has tended to be painted with broad brush strokes. Going back to
the 1930s a number of ethnographic studies noted the negative effects of ‘cultural
contact’ on the African family
-A recognition that there was no straightforward causal link between apartheid and
family breakdown focuses our attention instead on the seismic changes heralded by
the deterioration of formal employment.
-African marriage is a process and not an event, different systems of civil and
customary marriage co-existed (with different regional administrations), and
apartheid statistics are notoriously unreliable.
-when unemployment rose sharply, men’s inability to secure ilobolo (bridewealth) or
act as dependable ‘providers’ became additional brakes on marriage. Among the
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poor, wedlock is being exposed as a decidedly inflexible institution through which to
organize social alliances and the flow of resources
-marriage is a middle class institution
Women’s increased movement: from migrating men to moving women?
-Male migrant labor is so dominant an institution in South Africa that it overwhelms
almost all discussions on migration. Yet for over a century Southern African women
have moved to towns, informal settlements, and white owned farms
-The most common source of data on women’s migration comes from census or
household surveys. Together these studies show a rise in women’s migration from the
seventies but indicate that men still migrate more than women
Informal settlements, the informal economy and the sexual economy
-There are many types of informal settlements in contemporary South Africa, from
squatter camps resulting mainly from population movement within urban areas to
settlements resulting largely from population migration from rural areas.
-In the 1990s, many scholars felt that the collapse of apartheid would herald a return
to ‘normalmigration patterns—settlement patterns would be concentrated around
(rising) employment opportunities and migrants would not be forced to maintain such
strong links with rural areas.
-Women with reasonably well-paid work can sometimes secure housing independent
of men and enter
relationships on their own terms. New female migrants can look up to them as role
models, seeing independent women as successfully challenging patriarchal models of
marriage. Moreover, not all men are able to take part in the sexual economy. Many
men are desperately poor and complain bitterly about richer men who are able to
secure multiple girlfriends
-some partners can co-habit, gifts are often enacted in terms of men’s ‘provider’ role,
claims can be made through evoking ‘love’, and participants frequently discuss
sexual pleasure and physical attraction
-A final important point to recognize is that these sexual networks operate alongside
—and not in opposition to—social networks based on kinship, friendship groups,
churches, and neighbors. In many cases therefore, sex exchanges do not cause family
breakdown, a fact that questions the very long association between ‘prostitutionand
‘social degeneration
-There is an expectation that women will furnish money to a rural home, especially if
a woman’s child is looked after by other family members.17 Earlier scholarship
showed how men’s urban wages were distributed through sexual networks in rural
Lesotho and how rigid conjugal bonds in South Africa were being superseded by more
flexible sibling bonds characterized by reciprocity
Iliffe - Chapter 5
-2004 south Africa had 30 percent of worlds HIV cases
-Disease was brought from outside of south Africa and different sub types as well
-Epidemic spread south its momentum seemed to accelerate suggesting that it might
be increasing its virulence
-perhaps it was actually because of the position of the women in society: lack of
power negotiating sexual relationships, cultural attitudes to fertility and social
migration patterns
-more commonly infection passed from promiscuous men to their wives
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