In this Book

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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.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. vii-xviii
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  1. CHAPTER 1. Introduction: Altruism from Afar
  2. pp. 1-18
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  1. CHAPTER 2. Fevered Imaginations
  2. pp. 19-35
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  1. CHAPTER 3. Lumbering Behemoths and Fluttering Butterflies: Altruists in the Global AIDS Enterprise
  2. pp. 36-56
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  1. CHAPTER 4. Cultural Production: A Riot of Color
  2. pp. 57-77
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  1. CHAPTER 5. Getting to Know Brokers
  2. pp. 78-105
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  1. CHAPTER 6. Brokers’ Careers: Merit, Miracles, and Malice
  2. pp. 106-122
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  1. CHAPTER 7. Themes That Make Everyone Happy: Fighting Stigma and Helping Orphans
  2. pp. 123-137
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  1. CHAPTER 8. Themes That Make Everyone Anxious: Vulnerable Women and Harmful Cultural Practices
  2. pp. 138-165
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  1. CHAPTER 9. A Practice That Makes Everyone Happy: Training
  2. pp. 166-182
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  1. CHAPTER 10. Creating Succes
  2. pp. 183-197
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  1. CHAPTER 11. Conclusions: Doing Good Better
  2. pp. 198-214
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 215-218
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 219-246
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  1. References
  2. pp. 247-268
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 269-280
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781400884988
Print ISBN
9780691173924
MARC Record
OCLC
973019800
Pages
304
Launched on MUSE
2017-06-15
Language
English
Open Access
N
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