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Title: Picturing an epidemic : an analysis of representations of AIDS in media culture.
Author: Lynch, John Joseph.
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 1998
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By considering examples of representations of AIDS from across the cultural spectrum the thesis addresses the processes by which a popular understanding of the condition in this country has been constructed. Whilst many of the representations do not originate in the UK the increasing level of communicative interaction of global culture mean that there is a constant exchange across national boundaries, as there is across many other discourses, but which at particular moments have a local impact which can be considered in itself. In the light of this, the thesis considers representations circulating within the realms of: advertising and photography centred on the photograph of David Kirby taken by Therese Frare, newspaper coverage of the death of Freddie Mercury, Hollywood film including Philadelphia, health education advertisements, and art through a series of paintings by Derek Jarman. The starting point for this process in each chapter is the analysis 'of specific iconic images positioned within particular discursive frames. AIDS, as a socially significant locus of meaning around issues of disease and sexuality rather than just a strictly medical syndrome of opportunistic diseases, has so far been largely confined to the mediated realm of representation for many people in this country. Because the constituency most affected in this country is that of Gay men these representations have been continuously shaped by broader ideological concerns relating to issues of power, sexuality and legitimacy. To develop a useful sense of the implications of this across the cultural spectrum and to offer a contribution to the field of knowledge the thesis addresses the primary sites of media culture that people engage with on a regular basis to offer a reading not confined to one discursive order. From such an analysis an assessment is made of those factors that can be seen to articulate an understanding of the condition beyond the limits of anyone cultural formation working within the matrix of the dominant cultural order
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Freddie Mercury; Gay men Literature Mass media Performing arts Sociology Human services