Untold memories of HIV and AIDS among pastoral agents : the case of the Anglican manyano leaders in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, 1990-2010.
Through the oral history approach, this study documents shifts in the pastoral agency of manyano leaders in the HIV and AIDS context of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands from 1990-2000 and 2000-2010. The two time periods are significant as they mark changes in socio-economic and socio-political influences on HIV and AIDS in South Africa. The model used to investigate the agency of the manyano leaders has been drawn from James Scott’s (1990) theory of power relations between dominant and subordinate groups. Scott’s (1990) theory guided this study in analysing the agency of manyano leaders in two ways. Firstly, the theory guided the study’s analysis of the interviews beyond the superficial level to uncover discourses that in Scott’s (1990) terms operate in the public realm, hidden realm and in the realm of ‘infrapolitics’. Secondly, Scott’s (1990) theory helped uncover some of the shifts in the subversive agency of the manyano leaders’ response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic during the two time periods of 1990-2000 and 2001-2010. In both periods, the manyano leaders’ agency revealed that they opt for just and liberative responses on behalf of those that have been marginalised by the epidemic. The study revealed that in the first period, the agency of the manyano leaders’ faced more resistance in the public realm due to dominant political, religious and social attitudes that fuelled HIV and AIDS-related stigma and denial. As a result, much of their response to challenges raised by the epidemic took place in the hidden realm. In the second period, discourses of HIV and AIDS became more public and as a result, this study has argued, their agency has also become more public. From the results of this study, lessons have been drawn that contribute to a critical appreciation of manyano leaders’ pastoral agency in the context the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
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