Continuity and change in the time of AIDS : reconceptualising childhood in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Concepts of childhood are not constant, they are (re)constructed and (re)produced over time and space. Within understandings of 'children and the HIV/AIDS epidemic,' conceptualisations of childhood have been marred by crisis discourse; children have been constructed as the 'AIDS generation', 'a generation at risk,' and a 'generation deprived of their childhood'. However, the very conceptualisation of HIV/AIDS as creating inherent and unique vulnerabilities has led to a mystified perception of childhood in countries affected by HIV/AIDS, and a focus on non-normative childhoods such as orphans and child-headed households. There has been a general failure of critical reflexivity in approaches to studying 'the problem': by beginning analyses with a focus on 'crisis,' researchers have marginalised 'everyday' childhood experiences, children's agency, and historical context. Through a generational exploration of childhood, the thesis builds connections between dominant discourses of 'crisis'. 'care', and 'rights' in the time of HIV/AIDS, and children's everyday lived realities on historically situated landscapes. The thesis draws on qualitative, generational, and childhood-centred research conducted in three communities in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, and comprises nine chapters which reconceptualise the ways in which we approach childhood, and what we can learn by taking a generational approach to exploring how children experience their childhoods in the time of HIV/AIDS.
- Theses