Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Faculty Scholar Seminar

"HIV/AIDS and the Struggle for Life in South Africa's Slums"

Claire Decoteau
UIC Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at 2:00pm

Great Cities Institute, CUPPAH 400
412 South Peoria, 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60607
RSVP appreciated to (312) 996-8874 or

People living in urban slums in contemporary South Africa have the highest rates of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in the country. Their abject poverty and lack of access to nutritious food sources, clean water, and sustainable housing contribute to poor health. Drawing on extensive ethnographic research conducted in informal settlements on the outskirts of Johannesburg and analysis of the politics of AIDS in South Africa from 1994 through 2010, Claire will argue that HIV/AIDS policy has been a venue through which the South African government has attempted to balance contradictory demands of post-colonial nation-building: forced to satisfy the demand of neoliberal global capital and to meet the needs of its desperately unequal population.

Professor Decoteau’s research focuses on social theory, cultural sociology, the sociology of health and medicine, and global/transnational sociology.