Bortom oskuldens tid : En etnologisk studie av moral, trygghet och otrygghet i skuggan av hiv
Sammanfattning: The purpose of this doctoral thesis is to investigate how the Swedish press coverage of AIDS reflects cultural assumptions about morals, security and insecurity and how these representations affect the lives of people who are HIV-positive. It is clear that HIV-positive people are affected by such representations. Images that make some people feel secure have the opposite effect on others. But I have also shown that their lives are not totally constricted by these values. They try to create alternative truths about AIDS. Working from this assumption it has been important to investigate how people try to create meaning and defeat meaninglessness in difficult life circumstances.A further ambition has been to investigate how the body can be viewed as an active part in cultural processes. I argue that it is necessary to adopt a holistic view in cultural conceptualisations of the human body, where physical reactions, emotions and reason are seen as a whole, not ordered hierarchically. My thesis shows that people use different kinds of reasoning in different situations. Knowledge about the actual transmission of the virus, plays a minor part in my informants’ accounts. In some situations a body-based logic dominates, based on fear of transmission through everyday body contact. I argue that trying to suppress or hide bodily signs of the virus is not only a way of avoiding stigmatising behaviour from others, but also a way of achieving control or being able to participate in social situations on the same premises as other people.
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