Chapter

Gay Men, Language, and AIDS

William L. Leap and Samuel ColÓn

in AIDS, Culture, and Gay Men

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034317
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039312 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813034317.003.0004
Gay Men, Language, and AIDS

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Language has been used to cast gay men as the stigmatized “other.” But by looking closely at how gay men use language, we can learn how to better develop effective programs that serve the gay community. The non-neutral meanings associated with AIDS are deeply embedded within conversation and storytelling, asking questions, argumentation and debate, and verbal and nonverbal negotiation of sexual opportunity and sexual risk, and through other forms of social experience thoroughly embedded in linguistic practice. Rather than using gay men's remarks about AIDS simply as a source of supportive anecdote, this chapter argues in favor of a more tightly focused use of linguistic data in studies of AIDS and gay experience. It outlines assumptions about text analysis and discusses Hector Carrillo's The Night Is Young (2002), an analysis of sexual narratives that he collected during the 1990s while he was studying sexuality, socialization, and prevention of HIV infection in Guadalajara, Mexico. The book offers considerable attention to textual form.

Keywords: HIV infection; AIDS; Hector Carrillo; The Night Is Young; gay men; language; text analysis; textual form; gay experience; sexual narratives

Chapter.  8069 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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