AuthorSacks, Valarie Lynne, 1966-
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractA close reading of popular discourses on women and the AIDS epidemic reveals patterns that could be described as attempts to produce and reiterate notions of normative and deviant sexuality. Prostitutes, one frequently depicted "kind" of woman, are presented as indiscriminate, polluting to men, and categorically different from "normal" women. Other women depicted in AIDS discourses are almost always HIV-positive mothers or pregnant women; these women are usually only of concern insofar as they may infect their babies. The themes of self-control, self-discipline, and personal responsibility may also be used to stigmatize women. Such discourses suggest that those who have AIDS are responsible for their own illness. They also deflect attention away from the socioeconomic contexts which may make it more difficult for some to avoid infection, away from the connections between poverty, illness, and disempowerment, and away from the systematic inequalities that characterize U.S. society.
Degree ProgramGraduate College