2011 volume 43(3) pages 525 – 544
doi:10.1068/a4363

Cite as:
Ansell N, van Blerk L, Hajdu F, Robson E, 2011, "Spaces, times, and critical moments: a relational time – space analysis of the impacts of AIDS on rural youth in Malawi and Lesotho" Environment and Planning A 43(3) 525 – 544

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Spaces, times, and critical moments: a relational time – space analysis of the impacts of AIDS on rural youth in Malawi and Lesotho

Nicola Ansell, Lorraine van Blerk, Flora Hajdu, Elsbeth Robson

Received 3 February 2010; in revised form 15 June 2010; published online 8 March 2011

Abstract. Southern Africa’s AIDS epidemic is profoundly spatially and temporally structured; so too are the lives of the young people whose families it blights. In this paper we draw on qualitative research with AIDS-affected young people in Malawi and Lesotho, and recent work theorising time – space in human geography, to examine how time – spaces of AIDS-related sickness and death intersect with the time – spaces of young people and, importantly, those of their relations with others to produce differentiated outcomes for young people. We also explore the time – spaces of those outcomes and of young people’s responses to them. We conclude that a relational time – space analysis of the impacts of AIDS on young people helps explain the diversity of those young people’s experiences and allows AIDS to be contextualised more adequately in relation to everyday life and young people’s wider lifecourses and their relationships with others. Moreover, the research points to the significance of the time – space structuring of society in shaping the outcomes of familial sickness and death for young people.

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