Identities in Transition in a Post-Colonial Context. How HIV/Aids Can Open a Different Way for Sub-Saharan African Women Living in France ?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 4:33 PM
Room: 302
Oral Presentation
Marjorie GERBIER-AUBLANC , Ceped, Paris Descartes University, France, Vanves, France
In social sciences, it is now trite to say that HIV/Aids reveals relations of power. But what could it mean to argue that the epidemic is the incubator of new social interplays in a post-colonial context ? The way Sub-Saharan African women living in France have become key players to fight HIV, within communitarian associations (prevention and support groups), is an illustrative example of such a question. A socio-ethnographic fieldwork led by direct observations and interviews, from October 2011 to July 2013, invites me to explore this issue through the prism of Intersectionality and Care Theories. Care is understood here as an ethics of Subalterns and a singular political process, following the reflections of J.Tronto (1993).

The subaltern position of those women - as women, migrants, from a post-colonial minority and sometimes HIV-positive - led them to develop an expertise of complexity and a model of intervention drawn on an ethics of Care. Their participation to fight HIV in France represents an unprecedented way to position themselves and reverse the multifaceted  relations of power they are the object. Thus, this paper will explore how they socially and politically use the traditional categories assigned by the dominant society to transform their subaltern position in this post-colonial context. A special focus will be given to the way they review their subaltern status toward white French women, within a racialized gendered labour market and an excluding access to citizenship. As an example of grounded theory approach, this field research proposes a theoretical opening that let us thinking about the transition of subaltern identities in light of the intertwining of multifaceted inequalities in a post-colonial epidemic context.