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SOC309Y1 (31)

Stadler: Rumor, Gossip and Blame

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Robb Travers

SOC309 October 7 2011 Rumor Gossip and Blame Implications for HIVAIDS prevention in the South African Lowveld Jonathan Stadlery article examines the articulation of AIDS through gossip and rumor A Crisis of Meaning y There is much confusion about AIDSquestions of who to blame why it affects some people and not others y Article explores peoples response to AIDS by interrogating cultural and social production in a contemporary South African society y Rumor implies a lack of certainty in the truth of the storyo Popular public account that circulates widely but has not been proven trueo Rich in detail characters remain mysterious and location murky o Peoples behaviour is observed and moral judgments madeo Gossip is a gendered conversational form men try not to y Methods conversations interviews about AIDS recording of conversations group discussions etc y Gossip and rumor not simply conventional storytellingthey evaluate reputations and reveal contradictionsy Gossip about AIDS not only describe but is prescriptivecreates moral readings of behaviour linking AIDS to discourses of tradition gender and generational relationshipsy Rumours of AIDS has power to construct moral panicy The threat of
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