Changing the Course of AIDS: Peer Education in South Africa and Its Lessons for the Global Crisis

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Indisputably, says David Dickinson in the introduction to Changing the Course of AIDS, "a great deal has been written in the last two decades about HIV/ AIDS, especially on the pandemic afflicting Southern Africa" (vii). Much of this work, however, may have gone unread by Africanists who expect accounts of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment to consist of explanations of sexual practices or of biomedical details that would not be readily accessible to the general reader. But despite its somewhat misleading, overly ambitious, and functionalist title, Dickinson's book should interest all students of social change in southern Africa. This sociological study of HIV/AIDS peer education in diverse South African businesses tries to understand "the web of social relationships that influence behavior" (5), particularly with reference to Erving Goffman's classic framing of social space as "front stage" and "back stage" and Victor Turner's notion of "liminality." So-called front-stage behavior includes that of workplace peer educators who give training sessions to coworkers within vertically structured communication programs run by HIV/AIDS managers; back-stage interventions include educators' participation in informal activities both
Original languageEnglish
JournalAfrican Studies Review
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)170-171
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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