Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster „Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration“

Ethical Dilemmas

Elites, Reproduction and HIV/AIDS in Botswana

Astrid Bochow


The project explores the ethical dilemmas faced by educated professionals in urban Botswana that arise around issues of sexuality, procreation and/or social relationality in the context of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

More particularly, examining the reproductive life courses of childless educated professionals, the project shows how people navigate between different, competing sets of social expectations, namely to sexually reproduce in order to fulfil the generational contract and to act responsible towards themselves (and their partners) in epidemiological terms by avoiding unprotected sex. Educated elites in urban Botswana react to this dilemma by re-defining themselves as ethical agents according to the preventive paradigm of HIV/AIDS intervention campaigns against the expectations of their parents’, kin, colleagues and church members towards their reproductive roles.