Skip to main content Accessibility help
    • You have access
    • Open access
  • Cited by 7
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
June 2022
Print publication year:
Online ISBN:
Creative Commons:
Creative Common License - CC Creative Common License - BY Creative Common License - NC Creative Common License - ND
This content is Open Access and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0

Book description

Shaped around the stories of one extended family, their friends, neighbours, and community, Pandemic Kinship provides an intimate portrait of everyday life in Botswana's time of AIDS. It challenges assumptions about a 'crisis of care' unfolding in the wake of the pandemic, showing that care - like other aspects of Tswana kinship - is routinely in crisis, and that the creative ways families navigate such crises make them kin. In Setswana, conflict and crisis are glossed as dikgang, and negotiating dikgang is an ethical practice that generates and reorients kin relations over time. Governmental and non-governmental organisations often misread the creativity of crisis, intervening in ways that may prove more harmful than the problems they set out to solve. Moving between family discussions, community events, and the daily work of orphan care projects and social work offices, Pandemic Kinship provides provocative insights into how we manage change in pandemic times.


‘Drawing on years of intimate involvement with a family in southeastern Botswana, Koreen Reece provides a compelling portrait of how well-intended humanitarian interventions fail to engage with local imperatives to work out conflicts among kin. This is a signal contribution to the literature on kinship and humanitarianism in southern Africa.’

Frederick Klaits - University at Buffalo

‘This is a beautifully written, intimate portrait of family life in the time of pandemics. With a perspective that draws on years of both ethnographic and NGO work, Koreen Reece provides an innovative analysis of Tswana kinship that demonstrates how its oft-cited ambiguity productively drives life forward.’

Jacqueline Solway - Trent University

'In Pandemic Kinship, Reece places crisis and conflict at the center of our understanding of processes that create kinship, thereby brilliantly unsettling decades of anthropological theory on the subject. Through stunningly insightful narratives of family conflicts, she elucidates the cultural values and tensions that shape Tswana projects of kin- and self-making and demonstrates powerfully how, in the time of AIDS, these were consistently misconstrued and disrupted by the otherwise well-meaning interventions of NGOs.'

Susan McKinnon - University of Virginia

‘Illustrating the kinds of insights that can be gleaned only from long, painstaking, meticulous participant observations, Reece provides an intimate portrait of kin and community building during the crisis of the southern African AIDS pandemic … The story is compelling, and the writing is clear and passionate, though aimed at specialized readers … Highly recommended.’

A. S. MacKinnon Source: Choice

Refine List

Actions for selected content:

Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Save to Kindle
  • Save to Dropbox
  • Save to Google Drive

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.


Full book PDF

Page 1 of 2

  • Pandemic Kinship
    pp i-i
  • The International African Library - Series page
    pp ii-ii
  • Pandemic Kinship - Title page
    pp iii-iii
  • Families, Intervention, and Social Change in Botswana’s Time of AIDS
  • Copyright page
    pp iv-iv
  • Dedication
    pp v-vi
  • Contents
    pp vii-viii
  • Figures
    pp ix-ix
  • Acknowledgements
    pp x-xii
  • Characters
    pp xiii-xiv
  • Introduction
    pp 1-48
  • Part I - ‘Where Are You From? Where Are You Going?’
    pp 49-88
  • The Geographies of Tswana Kinship
  • 1 - Going Up and Down
    pp 61-67
  • 2 - Ke a Aga
    pp 68-77
  • Lorato, Building
  • 3 - Geographies of Intervention
    pp 78-86
  • Conclusion: Part I
    pp 87-88
  • 4 - Children of One Womb
    pp 99-113
  • 5 - Taking What Belongs to You
    pp 114-124
  • 6 - Supplementary Care
    pp 125-130
  • Conclusion: Part II
    pp 131-136
  • Part III - ‘We Are Seeing Things’
    pp 137-172
  • Recognition, Risk, and Reproducing Kinship
  • 7 - Recognising Pregnancy
    pp 144-153
  • 8 - Recognising Marriage
    pp 154-163
  • 9 - Managing Recognition in a Time of AIDS
    pp 164-169
  • Conclusion: Part III
    pp 170-172
  • Part IV - ‘They Were Far Family’
    pp 173-206
  • Circulating Children and the Limits of Kinship
  • 10 - Far Family
    pp 181-187
  • 11 - Living Outside
    pp 188-194
  • 12 - Children in Need of Care
    pp 195-202
  • Conclusion: Part IV
    pp 203-206

Page 1 of 2


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.