Author

James Gillett

Date of Award

6-1999

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

Supervisor

Professor G. Knight

Abstract

This study looks at print media projects by and for people with HIV/AIDS. Three types of publications are examined: newsletters; treatment publications; and general interest magazines. Each of these media began as part of political organizing by people with HIV in the context of the community-based response to the AIDS epidemic. The argument is made that those involved in contemporary social movements produce their own media as a means of constructing an alternative public sphere. The significance and function of this public realm is twofold. First, it is a social space for people with HIV/AIDS that is independent of forms of institutional influence and control. Second, it invites not only the articulation of opposition to the dominant social order but an alternative to the status quo. This study demonstrates the role of communication media--forums through which people can share their experiences and knowledge--in the struggle for self representation and survival among people with HIV/AIDS.

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