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Vol 4 No 5 (2017)

Pathways, intersections, and hotspots: Multisited fieldwork and the South African HIV/AIDS policy process

  • Theodore Powers
December 31, 2016
December 15, 2017


Since the late apartheid era, the South African HIV/AIDS movement has mobilized infected and affected communities and cultivated alliances to establish and expand a national HIV/AIDS response that is based on human rights. In doing so, HIV/AIDS activists have actively engaged with political dynamics across the institutional domains of the state. Participant observation research with South African HIV/AIDS activists and analyses of the South African HIV/AIDS policy process therefore necessitate following the movement of research participants across many sites. Bringing together existing approaches to multisited research, the concepts of pathways, intersections, and hot spots are utilized to represent the social and spatial experiences of HIV/AIDS activists, state health administrators, and other policy actors within a unified conceptual framework.