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Strings AttachedAIDS and the Rise of Transnational Connections in Africa$
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Nadine Beckmann, Alessandro Gusman, and Catrine Shroff

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265680

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265680.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 01 March 2021

The Choice of Health

The Choice of Health

Christian Family Planning among Cosmopolitan Educated Professionals inTime of HIV/AIDS in Botswana

(p.245) 12 The Choice of Health
Strings Attached

Astrid Bochow

British Academy

Based on the reproductive histories of about seventy educated professional women and fifteen educated professional men in Botswana, a country with an HIV/AIDS infection rate of 25 to 30 per cent, this chapter discusses the exceptional life courses of Pentecostal women who have remained childless in their marriages. The chapter discusses Comaroff and Comaroff’s hypothesis of the creation of the ‘right bearing, responsible “free” individual’ launched by English nonconformist Methodist missionaries. It analyses how these women have come to prioritise their health over having children. Christian, and in particular Pentecostal, ethics are shown to be a pool of globally circulating biomedical ideas that stress the controllability of the body and favour postponement. As a transnational religion charismatic Christianity thus launches a health ethic that is attributed to the positionality of new middle-class subjectivities.

Keywords:   Subjectivity, elite studies, Botswana, health ethics, reproduction, Pentecostalism

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