Capital, habitus and symbolic violence in the field of reproductive rights: women and HIV

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 5
  • Abstract:

    English: Critical ethnographic research methods are used in this article to suggest that the concepts of capital, field, habitus and symbolic violence as conceptualised by Bourdieu offer powerful ways to understand the experiences of HIV-positive women dependent on public health-care facilities in Gauteng, South Africa. It is shown that power relations, yielded by biomedical hegemony, androcentric sociocultural practices, material deprivation, fear, discrimination and stigma demarcate the experiences of women living with HIV, and potentially undermine their abilities to become empowered.