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'Looking for greener pastures': Locating Care in the Life Histories of Community Health Workers

Year: 2012
Working paper number: 313
Author: Vale, Elizabeth
Unit: ASRU
Abstract:
The question of who does the caring and why is fundamental to understanding the dynamic practice of AIDS care in post-apartheid South Africa. This paper explores motivations to enter carework as part of the life narratives of fifteen young South Africans – all pursuing 'the good life' in a country where high emancipatory expectations clash with tremendous structural constraints. Drawing on over ten hours of interview data focusing primarily on respondents' life stories, the paper explores the moment of entering carework as part of a largely improvisatory set of tactics to 'get by' and hopefully 'move up' in post- apartheid South Africa. For some, becoming a carer felt like a well-considered choice, but for most it was an opportunistic ad hoc move amidst a range of other contingencies in their daily lives.
Publication file: WP 313.pdf
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