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Ironies of Subordination: Ambivalences of Gender in Religious AIDS Interventions in South Africa


  • Marian Burchardt


Situated at the interface between the sociology of religion and gender studies, this article explores the complex relationships between faith-based activities and gendered arrangements of domination in the context of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. It argues that the linkages between religion and gender work in two directions: existing gender relations affect the shape of religious AIDS interventions just as these interventions influence dominant models of femininity and masculinity, and provide alternative models. Drawing on two case studies from the fields of sexual education and AIDS support, the article explains how emerging religious spaces mediate the ways in which female subordination is partially transformed into a gendered asset in successfully managing everyday life in an environment of bio-social risks.

Suggested Citation

  • Marian Burchardt, 2010. "Ironies of Subordination: Ambivalences of Gender in Religious AIDS Interventions in South Africa," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(1), pages 63-82.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:38:y:2010:i:1:p:63-82
    DOI: 10.1080/13600810903548708

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    Cited by:

    1. Hansen, Karen Tranberg, 2014. "Cities of youth: Post-millennial cases of mobility and sociality," WIDER Working Paper Series 001, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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