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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Culture as cure: civil society and moral debates in KwaZulu-Natal after apartheid
Author:Kaarsholm, PrebenISNI
Year:2006
Periodical:Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa
Volume:18
Issue:2
Pages:82-97
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:civil society
ethics
AIDS
African Independent Churches
rituals
urban life
Abstract:The transition from apartheid to democracy involved the demise of South Africa's civil society as it used to be commonly understood - the vibrant civil society of NGOs mobilized in the anti-apartheid struggle. But the whole idea of a demise for civil society has paid insufficient attention to the importance of local cultural institutions as ingredients in 'really existing' civil society. This paper addresses the nature of 'really existing' civil society and the workings of the public sphere in informal urban settlements on the outskirts of Durban. It focuses on debates over morality and the health of the community which have emerged locally in the context of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and highlights the positions taken by different African Initiated Churches. Besides these are placed varieties of virginity testing that have become prominent in the last decade, and the significance of disagreement between the different cultural programmes represented is examined. The paper argues that in these situations of urban informality, poverty and unemployment, there is a richness of debate, cultural invention and entrepreneurship which needs to be recorded and understood in order to appreciate ongoing dynamics of political development and struggles over notions of rights. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]