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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Gaborone is growing like a baby: life expectancies and death expectations in urban Botswana
Author:Ritsema, Mieka S.ISNI
Periodical:Africa Development: A Quarterly Journal of CODESRIA (ISSN 0850-3907)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Botswana
Southern Africa
Subjects:economic development
urban society
Economics, Commerce
Botswana--Economic conditions
AIDS (Disease)
Vital statistics
Life expectancy
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/24483997
Abstract:This article examines the paradox of Botswana's twin reputations: first, successful national development and second, premature death from the HIV/AIDS epidemic. While locating these reputations in the capital city, Gaborone, the article analyses reflections of people who are themselves the audience for, and participants in, the country's development. Ethnographic data reveal a dramatic shift in discourse by generational cohort in terms of explaining the apparent contradiction of successful development in the midst of tragedy. The article shows how official discourses of development and death are appropriated by a younger generation in Gaborone, in ways unanticipated in a meta-narrative of modernity. The emotional anguish of an older generation is absent in a younger generation's expectation that development goes hand-in-hand with funerals. The shift in perspective that is instantiated in Gaborone, reflects a profound transformation in the relationship between the production of knowledge and the State's expanding capacity since independence in 1966. This study contributes to the literature on development, modernity, African cities and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]