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Gloves in times of aids: Pentecostalism, hair and social distancing in Botswana

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the dimension of Pentecostalism in the Ghanaian immigrant community in Botswana. Issues of social distancing as a particular translation and negotiation of the ideological imperative of breaking are relevant here through the ways in which these churches became connected to a business class of Ghanaian female entrepreneurs who operate hair salons in the countrys major towns. This practice of social distancing gained pertinence because of the AIDS pandemic, which has special significance for that type of small business activity. Both in relation to class formation and the AIDS scare, Pentecostal notions of spiritual and moral superiority shape identities and social relations. In the context of Ghanaian-owned hair salons and the position of the Ghanaian owners/business women, the use and non-use, presence or absence of rubber gloves has become a specific marker of the different class positions and their ideological framing and legitimacy.

Keywords: AIDS; Botswana; Ghana; Pentecostalism



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