The politics and anti-politics of social movements: Religion and HIV/AIDS in Africa

Marian Burchardt, Amy S. Patterson, Louise Mubanda Rasmussen

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Abstract

In 2012, roughly 23 million people in sub-Saharan Africa were infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Religious responses to the disease have ranged from condemnation of people with HIV to the development of innovative AIDS-related services. This article utilises insights from the social movement literature about collective identity, framing, resources, and opportunity structures to interrogate religious mobilisation against HIV/AIDS. It demonstrates that mobilisation cannot be divorced from factors such as state–civil society relations, Africa's dependence on foreign aid, or the continent's poverty. Religious HIV/AIDS activities must be analysed in a conceptual space between a civil society/politics approach and a service-provider/anti-politics framework. That is, religious mobilisation may at times seek to engage the public realm to shape policies, while at other times it may shun politics in its provision of services. Case studies that illustrate these themes and demonstrate the multi-faceted interactions between religion and HIV/AIDS are included.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftCanadian Journal of African Studies
Vol/bind47
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)171-185
Antal sider15
ISSN0008-3968
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 17 dec. 2013

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