A Fraught Embrace (inbunden)
Inbunden (Hardback)
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Short-listed for "Foreign Affairs" Best of Books 2017 - Africa / Malawi 2017
Princeton University Press
10 halftones. 7 line illus. 2 tables.
236 x 155 x 28 mm
613 g
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A Fraught Embrace (inbunden)

A Fraught Embrace

The Romance and Reality of AIDS Altruism in Africa

Inbunden Engelska, 2017-03-21
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The complex relationships between altruists, beneficiaries, and brokers in the global effort to fight AIDS in Africa In the wake of the AIDS pandemic, legions of organizations and compassionate individuals descended on Africa from faraway places to offer their help and save lives. A Fraught Embrace shows how the dreams of these altruists became entangled with complex institutional and human relationships. Ann Swidler and Susan Cotts Watkins vividly describe the often mismatched expectations and fantasies of those who seek to help, of the villagers who desperately seek help, and of the brokers on whom both Western altruists and impoverished villagers must rely. Based on years of fieldwork in the heavily AIDS-affected country of Malawi, this powerful book digs into the sprawling AIDS enterprise and unravels the paradoxes of AIDS policy and practice. All who want to do good--from idealistic volunteers to world-weary development professionals--depend on brokers as guides, fixers, and cultural translators. These irreplaceable but frequently unseen local middlemen are the human connection between altruists' dreams and the realities of global philanthropy. The mutual misunderstandings among donors, brokers, and villagers--each with their own desires and moral imaginations--create all the drama of a romance: longing, exhilaration, disappointment, heartache, and sometimes an enduring connection. Personal stories, public scandals, and intersecting, sometimes clashing fantasies bring the lofty intentions of AIDS altruism firmly down to earth. Swidler and Watkins ultimately argue that altruists could accomplish more good, not by seeking to transform African lives but by helping Africans achieve their own goals. A Fraught Embrace unveils the tangled relations of those involved in the collective struggle to contain an epidemic.
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"One of Foreign Affairs Best of Books 2017 - Africa / Malawi" "Winner of the 2018 Best Scholarly Book Award, Global and Transnational Section of the American Sociological Association" "Honorable Mention for the 2018 Outstanding Published Book Award, Altruism, Morality and Social Solidarity Section of the American Sociological Association" "Finalist for the 2018 Melville J. Herskovits Prize, African Studies Association" "A concise, insightful work, and its contribution extends well beyond its immediate context of AIDS altruism in Malawi."---Brad Crofford, African Studies Quarterly "A Fraught Embrace is both an important piece of transnational public sociology and one of the most important works in cultural sociology to have been published in a long while."---Iddo Tavory, European Journal of Sociology "Few books can claim to address a social problem involving billions of dollars with millions of lives hanging in the balance, but Swidler and Watkins's A Fraught Embrace does just that. Dissecting the role of foreign altruists and local brokers in aid efforts to stem the HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa generally, and Malawi more specifically, this book makes a compelling sociological contribution to the study of foreign aid-a field of research more often reserved for economists and international development studies scholars."---Liam Swiss, American Journal of Sociology

Övrig information

Ann Swidler is professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Organization Without Authority and Talk of Love, and the coauthor of Habits of the Heart and Inequality by Design. Susan Cotts Watkins is professor emerita of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania and a Visiting Scholar at UCLA. She is the author of From Provinces into Nations and the coeditor of The Decline of Fertility in Europe.


Preface vii 1 Introduction: Altruism from Afar 1 2 Fevered Imaginations 19 3 Lumbering Behemoths and Fluttering Butterflies: Altruists in the Global AIDS Enterprise 36 4 Cultural Production: A Riot of Color 57 5 Getting to Know Brokers 78 6 Brokers' Careers: Merit, Miracles, and Malice 106 7 Themes That Make Everyone Happy: Fighting Stigma and Helping Orphans 123 8 Themes That Make Everyone Anxious: Vulnerable Women and Harmful Cultural Practices 138 9 A Practice That Makes Everyone Happy: Training 166 10 Creating Success 183 11 Conclusions: Doing Good Better 198 Acknowledgments 215 Notes 219 References 247 Index 269