Elizabeth Cooper is a social anthropologist interested in poverty, international development, HIV/AIDS, citizenship, popular protests, and political economy. She has been conducting research in East Africa, and primarily Kenya, since 2003 and received her doctorate in Social Anthropology from Oxford University in 2011. Most of her research focuses predominantly on the experiences of children and young people.
Since 2007, Elizabeth has been engaged in an ongoing study about how the lives of young people orphaned due to HIV/AIDS in western Kenya have been affected. For nearly two years she lived in an agricultural village in which one of every three children had been orphaned due to HIV/AIDS. Her ongoing study has allowed Elizabeth to consider how the AIDS epidemic, combined with chronic poverty, has affected local ideas and practices of sociality, and specifically people’s kinship and caring relations, intergenerational relations, and relations with the state and non-governmental actors.
Elizabeth is also conducting ongoing research concerning Kenyan students’ protest actions and their experiences of education and citizenship.