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Title:Social constructions of HIV and AIDS: Relationship to the provision of social support in African-American kinship networks
Author(s):Roberts, Theresa Louise
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Balgopal, P.R.
Department / Program:Social Work
Discipline:Social Work
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Black Studies
Social Work
Health Sciences, Public Health
Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Abstract:This is a descriptive, exploratory study which examines the relationship between socially constructed, cultural meanings of HIV and AIDS and the provision of social support within African American kinship networks. Symbolic interaction theory and interpretive interaction methodology grounded the research. Twenty-seven African American males and females age 21-44 who had received an HIV, ARC, or AIDS diagnosis 2 to 65 months preceding the research were interviewed. Seven persons were asymptomatic and 20 were symptomatic. Additionally, 6 African American social work and medical professionals in the HIV service delivery system were interviewed.
Data were collected through audiotaped, in-depth individual and group interviews and participant observation in two urban, Midwestern HIV organizations. These data were indexed, sorted, and coded to discover significant patterns, cultural themes, symbols, and metaphors which reflected the diversity of participants' lived experiences. A three phased career model was developed to illustrate universal themes associated with discovering and coming to terms with an HIV-related diagnosis; negotiating old support systems and developing new support systems; and empowerment and HIV activism.
Individual narratives illustrated how HIV status exacerbated the stigma, oppression, and vulnerability associated with ethnicity, poverty, gender, sexual orientation, alternative lifestyles, and substance abuse. Participants challenged their kinship and social networks, religious organizations, social service agencies, and health providers to humanely respond to their needs and treat them with respect and dignity. The need for culturally competent, adequate, accessible services was a primary issue voiced by participants.
Issue Date:1992
Rights Information:Copyright 1992 Roberts, Theresa Louise
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9236580
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9236580

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