Performing and transforming “the second life”: Music and HIV/AIDS activism in South Africa

  • Author / Creator
    Whittaker, Laryssa Karen
  • People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) in South Africa experience a stigmatised HIV status which threatens to supplant their prior identities. This compounds the marginalization on multiple social levels experienced by those most vulnerable to infection as they cope with associations of death and disease, as well as perceptions of guilt, shame and personal responsibility built into the moral discourse with which the subject of HIV is laden. My thesis explores the grassroots activism of groups and individuals in South Africa who musically advocate for support and social acceptance of PLWHAs within a volatile post-apartheid sociopolitical environment where government intervention has been controversial, inconsistent and, in terms of advocacy, largely absent. I argue, using Thomas Turino’s Peircian theory of semiotics, that my research participants draw upon the indexical characteristics of their music to assert social, religious and ethnic identities in the construction of alternative, healthy HIV-positive identities.

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  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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  • Institution
    University of Alberta
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  • Department
    • Department of Music
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Spinetti, Federico (Music)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Frishkopf, Michael (Music)
    • Fletcher, Christopher (Anthropology)
    • Qureshi, Regula (Music)