JEAN M. HUNLETH, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, was awarded funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Managing TB: Households, Children, and Illness in Lusaka, Zambia,' supervised by Dr. Karen Tranberg Hansen. This study suggests that, in the age of TB and AIDS, anthropological studies of the household need to consider the impact of illness on household practices. In southern Africa, the prevalence of HIV and TB in adult populations has thrust children into new positions in the household, family, and community. To understand children's shifting positions, twelve months of research was carried out in a low-income area of Lusaka. Twenty-five households (seventeen TB-affected households and eight non-affected households) with children between the ages of 8 and 12 participated in ten months of ethnographic research. The household research drew on observations, interviews, and child-oriented methods such as drawing and child-led tape recording. The data suggests that TB illnesses often turn upside down the conventional order of household relationships-young girls become 'mothers,' adult TB patients say they are 'children,' and boys carry out duties conventionally reserved for women and girls. In other words, assumptions about households, relationships, and children, implicit in research design and survey categories, fall apart in households with TB. Further, the study of children's management of illness provides insight into the multiple ways in which children are reconfiguring the face of childhood, the household, family, and nation.
Hunleth, Jean. 2013. Children's Roles in Tuberculosis Treatment Regimes: Constructing Childhood and Kinship in Urban Zambia. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 27(2):292-311.