Feminist Anthropology Anew: Motherhood and HIV/AIDS as Sites of Action

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Abstract:

Ongoing discussions about feminist anthropology as an active and relevant sub-discipline largely rely on historical comparisons that pit the political fervour of the past against what is deemed to be the less defined and increasingly disengaged feminist anthropology of today. In this paper, I argue that the prevailing tone of pessimism surrounding feminist anthropology should be met with a critical response that: (1) situates the current characterization of the sub-discipline within broader debates between second- and third-wave feminism; and (2) considers the ways in which the supposed incongruity between theories of deconstruction and political engagement undermines the sub-discipline's strengths. Throughout this discussion, I consider what an ethnographic study of motherhood in the context of HIV/AIDS can offer as we take stock of feminist anthropology's current potential and future possibility.

Keywords: ENGAGEMENT; FEMINIST ANTHROPOLOGY; HIV/AIDS; MOTHERHOOD

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/aia.2011.180103

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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