Spring 2017 Books by Princeton University Press

More catalogs by Princeton University Press | Spring 2017 Books | 148 pages | 2018-09-24

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Page 62 of Spring 2017 Books

a fraught embrace the romance and reality of aids altruism in africa ann swidler susan cotts watkins the complex relationships between altruists beneficiaries and brokers in the global effort to fight aids in africa “using a detailed study of the actions and reactions regarding aids in malawi this fantastic book describes essential features of the current system for delivering humanitarian assistance swidler and watkins look at the role of brokers who connect international donors with beneficiaries examine the altruists who operate within a moral universe that leads them to be out of touch and offer a compelling takedown of common humanitarian cultural practices and notions of sustainability.” —lant pritchett harvard kennedy school in the wake of the aids pandemic legions of organizations and compassionate individuals descended on africa from faraway places to offer their help and save lives a fraught embrace shows how the dreams of these altruists became entangled with complex institutional and human relationships ann swidler and susan cotts watkins vividly describe the often mismatched expectations and fantasies of those who seek to help of the villagers who desperately seek help and of the brokers on whom both western altruists and impoverished villagers must rely based on years of fieldwork in the heavily aids-affected country of malawi this powerful book digs into the sprawling aids enterprise and unravels the paradoxes of aids policy and practice all who want to do good—from idealistic volunteers to world-weary development professionals—depend on brokers as guides fixers and cultural translators these irreplaceable but frequently unseen local middlemen are the human connection between altruists’ dreams and the realities of global philanthropy the mutual misunderstandings among donors brokers and villagers—each with their own desires and moral imaginations—create all the drama of a romance longing exhilaration disappointment heartache and sometimes an enduring connection personal stories public scandals and intersecting sometimes clashing fantasies bring the lofty intentions of aids altruism firmly down to earth swidler and watkins ultimately argue that altruists could accomplish more good not by seeking to transform african lives but by helping africans achieve their own goals a fraught embrace unveils the tangled relations of those involved in the collective struggle to contain an epidemic ann swidler is professor of sociology at the university of california berkeley susan cotts watkins is professor emerita of sociology at the university of pennsylvania.  april 978-0-691-17392-4 cloth  $35.00s 272 pages 10 halftones 7 line illus 6 x 9 princeton studies in cultural sociology paul j dimaggio michèle lamont robert j wuthnow and viviana a zelizer series editors 60 academic trade sociology