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Lecture #1 - Sept 16.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Robb Travers

SOC309Y1- Lecture #1 – September 16, 2011 - SOC309 HIV/AIDS: Social Policies and Programs will explore the „social aspects of AIDS and HIV‟ through exploration of the following distinct yet overlapping spheres of the epidemic: - the cultural, political and historical context in which HIV emerged and how governments, institutions (such as public health) and the media have responded to it; - why historical? – the 80s in particular was a time in society in how we viewed relationship of citizens and state very differently- we started looking at health as citizen responsibility and not state- so was huge cut back time – so comes highly stigmatized disease during this time - the reactions of everyday people to AIDS – especially early on in the epidemic and how it has changed and not changed over time - the lived experience of people affected by the illness (both those at risk and those living with HIV); - Christian rite driven- abstinence first, Bush money used – if people preached abstinence but problem is body of science shows approach does not work - …and the contemporary (and shifting) policy environment that presents ongoing and ever-changing challenges... - e.g., ABC, harm reduction, etc. - ABC prominent policy in America- be faithful, abstinence, primary funding but removed in Obama administration – more freedom – tend to avoid health promoting ways in Canada - harm reduction- less about discouraging, more about making safe as possible (Ex: ecstasy outreach program- if you do ecstasy drink tons of water- harm reduction approach to disease prevention) Ex: AIDS- condoms is an example - Irrational/crazy reactions to this social stigma – our job in this course is to unravel and have a historic look at this illness TA: Alexandra (Ali) Rodney [email protected] Office Hours: by appointment - Room 225, 725 Spadina Ave, 2 ndfloor (at Bloor) - SOC309 allows you to explore the most stigmatized disease facing contemporary humankind….. - It allows us to look at the mistakes and the injustices that have (and continue to) occurred … - When first emerged, the disease affected highly marginalized people – people not on the radar screen of government officials and people knew little of “the other” – a lot of moral panic assigned as well - We will look at early 80s mistakes, when disease first emerged, some injustices that occurred to the point where it is now a global epidemic affected heterosexual people Louise Binder- living with AIDS – guest speaker “HIV is a disease of the margins…where power thrives, the virus recedes” where no social marginalization or less, HIV is less – where HIV is present it affects more marginalizes/stigmatized people - Bill Clinton XIV International AIDS Conference, Toronto, 2006 “As a disease, nothing fits the mean-spirited jowls of individualistic societies better than AIDS” – US most individualistic- and notion of responsibility is very prominent, people blamed people – political milieu- Canada more communitarian but creeping more to individualism… AIDS also emerged in both climates- BLAME prominent with this disease You can see “individualism” in poster campaign – such as “Smart Girls carry condoms” – says if you acquire HIV and you are female, you are somehow to blame and you are stupid- the individualism in society reflects self in contemporary society- no acknowledgement in these campaigns of what may prevent woman from insisting on condoms ‘Why don’t we have a Sociology of Cancer’? - Cancer- This disease is about power – about who has it, about who doesn‟t, and how abuses of power have cost untold millions of lives worldwide. - Cancer has underlying power element, cancer is not as random as we think it is - HIV more stigmatized Travers: - “I teach from a social justice perspective” - The conditions that have made this “a disease of the margins‟ are ripe for sociological analysis… - One of the most interesting areas to pull apart and ask what happened in the 80s- what went wrong? The history of AIDS is tarnished by hatred of people who are different. – usually word Gay or black comes up when asked what do you think about AIDS – when people from those populations answer, different answers come up “Social marginalization, prejudice” We will look at history/present Learning about the Sociology of AIDS • requires a critical sociological perspective (leave at the door everything you have learned about this illness) come in with blank slate • your own ideas and assumptions don‟t exist outside of a social context • the work of sociologists is to unpack and unravel that context • Health- politically driven • What made AIDS disease of margins- patterns making other diseases of margins  Making this the BEST learning environment… - respect for diversity - open-mindedness - non-judgemental - compassionate - „Reflexive’ (having degree adds 3-4 years to life) – ability to think about who am I in the world and what was I born into? And how has it made my life different, harder, easier etc. So going to university has something to do with your social class! - a willingness to learn - Having an open mind about sex and diverse forms of sexuality… Grading Overview: Term Test I (25%).................. October 28, 2011 Term Test II (25%)……………………. January 13, 2012 Term Test III (30%)……………………. March 2, 2012 Small Group Work (20%)…………… March 9, 16, 23, 30, 2012 Term Tests (80%) • multiple choice, true/false • based on readings, films, lectures and guest speakers • NOT cumulative Small Group Presentation/Annotated Bibliography (20%) • For this assignment, you will work in groups of up to 6 (no less than 5) students.
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