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The Culture of AIDS in AfricaHope and Healing Through Music and the Arts$
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Gregory Barz and Judah Cohen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199744473

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199744473.001.0001

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Singing as Social Order

Singing as Social Order

The Expressive Economy of HIV/AIDS in Mbarara, Uganda

Chapter:
(p.309) 26 Singing as Social Order
Source:
The Culture of AIDS in Africa
Author(s):

Judah M. Cohen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199744473.003.0026

This chapter presents an account of the drama group at the Mbarara chapter of The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) in Uganda, with particular emphasis on the complex terrains of access that membership involves. It shows how, in a setting where new health resources often come at a premium, performative forms of HIV/AIDS advocacy can offer members important opportunities for access to medical treatment, receiving international aid, high-profile exposure, attention from foreigners, travel possibilities, and increased self-worth. It argues that any of these benefits could potentially lead to prolonged life, but they also involve negotiating a broad series of religious, moral, social, and cultural norms, each of which brings with it its own competitive resources and pressures. It also highlights the potential of music to help bring doctors more intimately into the cultures and lives of the people they so much want to help.

Keywords:   drama, The AIDS Support Organization, Uganda, HIV/AIDS, medical treatment, international aid, music, doctors, Mbarara

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