northern Japan, the Twa of central Africa, and the Balinese of Indonesia have the same complexity of social patterns, cultural norms, and symbolic meaningfulness as do more familiar cultures such as the French, Germans, Chinese, and Americans. Each culture, in a sense, represents an alternative pattern of human experience with its own essential structural and functional integrity. Cross- cultural research shows anthropologists broad regularities in human actions and thought. Causal relationships among demographic variables, modes of subsistence, familial organizations, and belief systems have been established by anthropologists. The anthropological view has considerable temporal and spatial depth. It is precisely this cross-cultural perspective and the Rey concept of culture that have enabled many anthropologists to understand that AIDS is more than just another disease. It is, in a sense, a microcosm for understanding and synthesizing the human condition. This anthropological perspective is, of course, also shared by many people who are not anthropologists.

International and domestic AIDS policy formulation requires a very broad understanding of the human condition. Anthropology, perhaps more than most other academic disciplines, is well situated, with its propensity to maintain a global and evolutionary perspective, to begin to play a central and indispensable role in the development of intelligently constructed international and domestic AIDS policies.

The struggle against AIDS requires all relevant scientific and social scientific disciplines to work fervently to combat this insidious epidemic. Anthropology is beginning to now do its fair share.

On an even broader level, perhaps no other event has brought together so many different kinds of scientists and practitioners than has the AIDS crisis. Medicine, law, social services, education, biological sciences, social and behavioral sciences, ethics, politics, and other areas of human endeavor have played an integral role in understanding and controlling the development of this global pandemic. It is a war that must be fought on all fronts to be won. It is through this interdisciplinary approach that AIDS can most successfully be confronted. And it is precisely through this confrontation that we are beginning to learn more about ourselves as a most unique and very special species.


NOTE

An earlier version of this chapter was presented at the V International Conference on AIDS, Montreal, June 1989. I would like to thank Dr. Ronald Prineas, Dr. Frank Stitt, and Dr. Dooley Worth for their comments.


REFERENCES

Carrier Joseph M., and J. R. Magana. ( 1989). "Mexican and Mexican-American Male Sexual Behavior and the Spread of AIDS in California," National Institutes of Health Workshop on AIDS and Sexual Behavior, May 18-19.

Trotter Robert T., II. ( 1988). "Comments on Ethnographic Research Design: a Guide for DAAR-2," unpublished paper.

-208-

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Culture and AIDS
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Chapter One - Introduction: Culture and Aids 1
  • Chapter Two - Aids in Cultural, Historic, and Epidemiologic Context 9
  • Notes 23
  • References 24
  • Chapter Three - the Sick Role, Stigma, and Pollution: the Case of Aids 29
  • Notes 42
  • References 43
  • Chapter Four - Assessing Viral, Parasitic, and Sociocultural Cofactors Affecting Hiv-1 Transmission in Rwanda 45
  • Note 51
  • References 51
  • Chapter Five - Aids and the Pathogenesis of Metaphor 55
  • Note 64
  • References 65
  • Chapter Six - Aids and Accusation: Haiti, Haitians, and the Geography of Blame 67
  • Notes 88
  • References 89
  • Chapter Seven - Prostitute Women and the Ideology of Work in London 93
  • Notes 108
  • References 109
  • Chapter Eight Minority Women and Aids: Culture, Race, and Gender 111
  • Notes 128
  • References 131
  • Chapter Nine Language and Aids 137
  • Notes 157
  • References 158
  • Chapter Ten Aids and Obituaries: the Perpetuation of Stigma in the Press 159
  • References 168
  • Chapter Eleven Sex, Politics, and Guilt: A Study of Homophobia and the Aids Phenomenon 169
  • Note 181
  • References 181
  • Chapter Twelve Increasing the Cost of Living: Class and Exploitation in the Delivery of Social Services to Persons with Aids 183
  • Notes 198
  • References 201
  • Chapter Thirteen Postscript: Anthropology and Aids 205
  • Note 208
  • References 208
  • Index 209
  • ABOUT THE EDITOR AND CONTRIBUTORS 215
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