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Lecture

Lecture #3 - Sept 30.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC309Y1
Professor
Robb Travers
Semester
Fall

Description
HIV/AIDS: Social Policies and Programs Early Crisis, Moral Panic: The 1980s Lecture 3: September 30, 2011 When societies rethink idea of ownership, 1980s, ripe conditions for breeding prejudice against unpopular groups lacking human groups 1983: Pat Buchanan, Communications Director for President Ronald Reagan, calls AIDS, first identified in 1981, "nature's revenge on gay men." - Public statements of high ranking officials example today this would not be said - Early reactions http://www.oprah.com/health/The-AIDS-Epidemic-in-Small-Town-America- Video_1 Disease of nature Doctor trying to give facts, clash of moral ideology against scientific evidence, someone saying they want the facts (in West Virginia) vs. strong moral reactions based on peoples individual moral ideas of what is appropriate Today: - Explore early reactions to HIV (1980s) - To explore the cultural phenomenon of blame in relation to illness blame and disease go hand in hand Healthism big part- moral valance attached to good health vs. those who fail who have bad health in terms of AIDS they failed in who they were or who they chose to love or what drugs they chose to put in bodies - To understand the impact of cultural ideas about morality and moral panic on the HIV epidemic- how they shifted in early 80s from religious (US) to one based on neoliberalism (appropriate ways of looking after ones health) - Morality and health look very complex now, religious things build in and also neo-liberalism - Moral Panic- what happened in the 80s How many of you: - Have had one too many drinks and got behind the steering wheel? - Have not used a seatbelt? - Have smoked pot and drove your car? - What do we say about people who do these things? o Irresponsible, do we ask why or simply arrive right away at our decision? o What about when someone gets 4 abortions- harder to say - CBC UK broadcast, should government pay for costs for those who suffer from disease resulting from smoking complicated relationship between smoking and cancer (Social determinants of class) - MORALITY AND HEALTH ARE FUSED, difficult to pull apart ex. Mad at self for not going to gym, or skinny woman in line looking at a muffin When someone gets HIV..... What do we ask about them? How did you get it? What do we assume about them? Homosexual, promiscuous, Why are there such intense reactions to HIV? Casual contact could spread HIV? Affected a marginalized group at first, with which little was known about (homosexual men, drug users- those who were unpopular) Alan Brandt asks Who gets sick and why? AIDS and gay men not thought about before or if did were quick to condemn gay men like never before in 80s Whats underneath the questions who gets sick and why? 3 things behind question according to Brandt: 1. Powerful cultural values 2. Deep moral and philosophical ideals (Ex. Oprah clip shows irrational fear- doctor mistaken saying getting AIDS from public pool vs. those who refuse to listen to doctor based on moral ideas about right kinds of behavior in society) 3. NB social and political ideologies Has a disease ever been so moralized as AIDS? http://archives.cbc.ca/health/public_health/clips/4563/ (2:30) public fear instigated by Right Wingers, re-criminalization spoke of mass murderers, AIDS demise of Western civilization Reverend Jerry Falwell 3 point plan to protect society from AIDS: closing down homosexual bath houses Tangible proof of societies moral decay shows how AIDS linked to abortion, promiscuity moral issues fuse selves together in these early reactions! Trends in Political Values and Core Attitudes: 1987-2007 Pew Research Center polls Americans Question posed as laid out above 2007- Public fear decreases with harsh attitudes What would it say if asked in Canada? IT was significantly less (6%)- we are far less religious society and religiosity in Canada tends to be private vs. in America where it is more public. Nashville- 50-100 praying in staff room before lunch (ex. Given by Travers) worst possible thing if child told parent not a Christian Sponsor A Message Reinforcing America's Core Values, One Billboard At A Time The Punishment Theory of Disease 1. employs a moral concept of blame or responsibility * - morality infused with responsibility 2. based on religious or secular forms of morality (Secular based on lifestyle, new-ism) - What did I do to deserve this? - What did s/he do to get this? - Religious- purist dominated first half of 80s, US, not same kind of talk in Canada. Canada looked to more promiscuous explanations, not religious - Was he fat, did he smoke? High blood pressure? reflect some formal belief system about what produces ill health (more secular version) - Modified religious mother of gay son goes on radio station (Winnipeg) pleading for people to be understanding, said to radio announcer I wonder what I did so badly to deserve this - People blame people for ill health, we all do it! Punishment theory applied to HIV/AIDS 4 challenges (in addition to Kopelmans): establishes innocent versus guilty discourse 80s this was very popular, gay men and drug users seen as guilty because they were seen to bring it upon themselves, innocent (blood injection) encourages victim blaming fails to take into account cultural, political and socioeconomic factors behind disease
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