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oa Alternation - Some aspects of AIDS-related discourse in post-apartheid South African culture

Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757

 

Abstract

The language of AIDS does not merely represent the condition: it constructs it in different ways. Words and images create different conceptual realities of the phenomenon. These both reflect and determine the way we understand and feel about the condition. Language can neither be separated from our thoughts and feelings, nor from the social context in which it is used. Looking specifically at the situation in our own country, there are numerous examples of how language has been and is being used in very different ways to express and shape attitudes towards AIDS. The condition is either descriptionbed in starkly explicit terms, avoided altogether, exaggerated or downplayed, depending on the situation, the mindset of the speaker or writer, and the intended effect on the audience. Commonly used metaphorical representations of HIV and AIDS provide different conceptions of the phenomenon, and create different meanings.

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2004-01-01
2019-08-21

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