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Index to AIDS in Africa Thesis

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Created: February 26, 2002
Latest Update: March 1, 2002

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takata@uwp.edu

Review of Literature

On Tuesday, February 19, Jolie Gibbs wrote:

Subject: thesis lit review from jolie

Hi Jeannie, here is my first example of one of my literature reviews. there is much more information that I can write about on this book but I was trying to keep it simple for critique purposes. I will send you only one at a time so as to not bog you down. I have e-mailed father Mobe questions that I feel would be relevant and he has e-mailed me back saying he will answer them. that was on the 18 of jan. since then I have e-mailed him twice with no response. I am kind of getting scared that I won't get done on time (because I know you are getting ready to retire) maybe it was a mistake to set the whole thing on another person. Do you have any suggestions for me?

P.S. The order of the lit. review isn't necessarily in order, I will decide that upon the final drafting.

Thanks Jolie Gibbs

On Tuesday, February 26, jeanne replied:

Literature Review

Ayittey, George B.N. 1999. Africa in Chaos. New York: St. Martins Griffin.

Many would define culture as a set of circumstances in which a person is raised that governs group behavior; this behavior is governed by many internal and external factors. Ayittey author of the book Africa in Chaos claims that despite the rich natural resources that Africa possesses the people remain in the throws of poverty and the worst imaginable destitution. The circular nature of their culture tends to hold them in a vicious cycle of being infected and passing on the infection of the HIV virus. Aittey examines the internal and external factors including the general feel of a tyranny among the government. "Among the expernal factors are the legacies to colonialism, lingering effects of the slave trade, Western imperialism, and a pernicious international economic system. The internal factors include bad leadership, corruption, economic mismanagement, political tyranny, sensless civil wars, military vandalism, exploitation and oppression of the peasant majority, denial of civil liberties, and capital flight". (Ayittey, 1999.) Ayittey believes that the answers to the decline of the country can be found within the people and be solved with out any outside help from the West. He argues that the internal problems are all interrelated, most notably the political and economic systems. Consequently, problems that may seem to be rooted in economics may actually be political and shows it's self as a system of poverty. Corruption in the African government only leads to an ineffective leadership of the country and discourages any foreign interest or investments.

jeanne's comments

Many would define culture as a set of circumstances in which a person is raised that governs group behavior;

try: as a set of circumstances that governs group behavior, according to the culture in which the person is raised. It's a little awkward, but at least the modifiers are closer together. Play with it.
this behavior is governed by many internal and external factors.
try: Culture and its many constraintsgoverned by many internal and external factors. Your choice of words was great, until I messed it up above. Does this say what you meant to say? In any event, I'm just trying to get modifiers closer to what they modify. Play with it.
Ayittey, in Africa in Chaos, claims that despite the rich natural resources that Africa possesses the people remain in the throws of poverty and the worst imaginable destitution.

"author of the book" was a little wordy. I think you need to give a little more detail here. Why does Ayittey claim this happens? Does he attribute it to colonialism, or to, for example, the local and extralocal organization, that prevents appropriate distribution of both resources and products?

You need to expand a little on Ayittey's claims, because you can't just jump for African poverty to the vicious cycle in HIV. That's called an intellectual leap. Then come up with a lead in to the AIDS.

The circular nature of their culture tends to hold them in a vicious cycle of being infected and passing on the infection of the HIV virus.

Oops! What do you mean by the "circular nature of their culture?." Don't all cultures have to deal with the fact that if you are infected, unprotected sex will pass on the infection?

try: The lack of a stable infrastructure for the delivery of health care means that there is no ready means of intervention so that they tend to be caught "in a vicious cycle . . . " Is that what you mean? Play with it.

Ayittey examines the internal and external factors that influence sexual encounters, including the general feeling that the government is tyrannical. That sense of tyranny would be heightened by any attempt to intervene in sexuality, the most intimate and individual of all transactions. We need to conceptually link the tyranny of the government to the sexual encounter. And I'm not sure whether tyranny is internal or external to the culture in the way that Ayittey is using it. Sounds more like internal to me, but the effects of colonialism could have altered that.

Among the external factors influencing the culture and affecting the spread of AIDS are the legacies of colonialism, lingering effects of the slave trade, Western imperialism, and a pernicious international economic system. The internal factors include bad leadership, corruption, economic mismanagement, political tyranny, sensless civil wars, military vandalism, exploitation and oppression of the peasant majority, denial of civil liberties, and capital flight". (Ayittey, 1999.)

Now here's the detail I was asking for in the very beginning. That means you'll want to play with the organization a little to decide how you want to reference the details. I have a little trouble with some of Ayittey's internal factors. As I noted above with tyranny, bad leadership is partially learned, not really internal, and learned from the colonial masters. corruption and economic mismanagement were also prevalent during colonial rule, making it increasingly hard to tell the extent to which each of these is internal or external.

Ayittey believes that the answers to the decline of the country can be found within the people and be solved without any outside help from the West. He argues that the internal problems are all interrelated, most notably the political and economic systems. Consequently, problems that may seem to be rooted in economics may actually be political and shows itself as a system of poverty. Corruption in the African government only leads to an ineffective leadership of the country and discourages any foreign interest or investments.

I like the phrase "within the people," but with respect to the situation in Afghanistan, in the Middle East, in Central Asia, I think that could be said of most countries. We are the people. Us. You and me. All of us. And the answers do lie within us. But we are inextricably interdependent each with the other, for there is only one globe to inhabit. So the answer that the peoples of Africa can solve their own problems without help from the West kind of the fact that the West is continuing meanwhile to add to the problems of a sustainable future. The time when we could look to problems like AIDS within our own borders is over. Corporate decisions in the US and in India affect the availability of effective medicines in South Africa.

Corruption in the African government only leads to an ineffective leadership of the country and discourages any foreign interest or investments.

try: Corruption in government and in the corporate infrastructure" leads to an ineffective leadership of the country and discourages any foreign interest or investments. Along with such barriers to long term growth, the corruption disempowers and alienates the leaders who would build a strong and stable health care delivery system.

Notice how with the last statement I tried to close the circle and link these ideas conceptually with the very specific problems of AIDS.

I think the review of literature would be easier to do if you went through the same process you did when you asked your questions of Father Mobe. What did you expect each question to tell you, and how did each question link into your thesis? Can you anticipate some of the answers? How will your study help to make things better? For example, you won't be able to rid Zambia of corruption, not with one Master's thesis. So what would you like to accomplish? Will you help me to empathisize with some mother in Zambia who has discovered she has AIDS? How will that help her? Will that help me?

I think you do have answers to some of these questions, Jolie. They are the essence of the beginning of your thesis. Father Peter's answers will help you conclude on the AIDS situation in Zambia with more detail. But, in answer to your question, what if Father Peter can't get answers to me in time?

Good question. Master's Theses have deadlines. You have deadlines. So I think we'll spend this week seeking alternative sources in South Africa, with some contacts I can make. In Zambia, in the Consular Offices, and other snowballing contacts. That's why we make such a big deal of asking "and how will you get your sample?"