Ancestors and Antiretrovirals
The Biopolitics of HIV/AIDS in Post-Apartheid South Africa
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.
“Claire Laurier Decoteau is at the forefront of the new global sociology. Her articulation of analysis with ethnographic detail is expert, yet reads effortlessly; her ability to view the political complexities of South Africa from a new theoretical angle is admirable; and her depth of understanding about what is at stake in the fight over AIDS is relevant to anyone who wonders how power works all over the globe. Ancestors and Antiretrovirals will be an iconic text for a new generation of global work, and marks the emergence of a bold new theoretical voice in sociology.”