“A Nowadays Disease”: HIV/AIDS and Social Change in a Rural South African Community

Sanyu A. Mojola, Enid Schatz, Nicole Angotti, Brian Houle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Why do some people adapt successfully to change while others do not? We examine this question in the context of a severe HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa, where adapting (or not) to social change has borne life and death consequences. Applying an age-period-cohort lens to the analysis of qualitative life history interviews among middle-aged and older adults, we consider the role of the life course and gendered sexuality in informing Africans’ strategies of action, or inaction, and in differentially driving and stalling change in each cohort in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Our study illuminates the unique challenges of adapting to social change that result from dynamic interactions among aging, prevailing social structures, and a cohort’s sociohistorical orientation to a new period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)950-1000
Number of pages51
JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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