Moral Threats and Dangerous Desires: AIDS in the News Media

Overview

Since 1981, AIDS has had an enormous impact upon the popular imagination. Few other diseases this century have been greeted with quite the same fear, loathing, and prejudice against those who develop it. The mass media, and in particular, the news media, have played a vital part in "making sense" of AIDS. This volume takes an interdisciplinary perspective, combining cultural studies, history of medicine, and contemporary social theory to examine AIDS reporting. There have been three major themes dominating ...

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Moral Threats and Dangerous Desires: AIDS in the News Media

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Overview

Since 1981, AIDS has had an enormous impact upon the popular imagination. Few other diseases this century have been greeted with quite the same fear, loathing, and prejudice against those who develop it. The mass media, and in particular, the news media, have played a vital part in "making sense" of AIDS. This volume takes an interdisciplinary perspective, combining cultural studies, history of medicine, and contemporary social theory to examine AIDS reporting. There have been three major themes dominating coverage: the "gay-plague" dominant in the early 1980s, panic-stricken visions of the end of the world as AIDS was said to pose a threat to everyone, in the late 1980s; and a growing routinising of coverage in the 1990s. This book lays bare the sub-textual ideologies giving meaning to AIDS news reports, including anxieties about pollution and contagion, deviance, bodily control, the moral meanings of risk, the valorisation of drugs and medical science. Drawing together the work of cultural and politicaltheorists, sociologists and historians who have written about medicine, disease and the body, as well as that of theorists in Europe and the USA who have focused their attention specificaiiy on AIDS, this book explores the wide theoretical debate about the importance of language in the social construction of illness and disease. This text offers insights into the sociocultural context in which attitudes towards people with HIV or AIDS and people's perceptions of risk from HIV infection are developed and the responses of governments to the AIDS epidemic are formulated.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Explores the key role mass media have played in constructing public understanding of the AIDS epidemic, including how the media manage the tension between AIDS as a scourge of demographic minorities and AIDS as a threat to all, and how media messages about the disease have changed over time. These and other issues are examined from an interdisciplinary perspective, using insights from cultural studies, the history of medicine and contemporary social theory. Appendices chronicle AIDS-related items in the Australian press. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780748401802
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/1/1994
  • Series: Social Aspects of AIDS Series
  • Pages: 197
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.42 (d)

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