If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Silence, Death, and the Invisible Enemy: AIDS Activism and Social Movement "Newness"

Josh Gamson
Social Problems
Vol. 36, No. 4 (Oct., 1989), pp. 351-367
DOI: 10.2307/800820
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/800820
Page Count: 17
  • Download PDF
  • Cite this Item

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Silence, Death, and the Invisible Enemy: AIDS Activism and Social Movement
Preview not available

Abstract

Examining the dynamics and activities of the AIDS activist movement--here, through an analysis based on a participant-observation study of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) in San Francisco--provides an opportunity to clarify issues on which social movements literature tends to be hazy. ACT UP mixes strategic action and material targets with expressive action and cultural targets; their cultural activity takes the form of boundary-crossing and the contesting of images. They often have difficulty distinguishing their targets, and are caught both denying and affirming that AIDS is a gay disease. I argue that these actions and dilemmas are best understood in the context of changed forms of domination, more and more an invisible and disembodied process of "normalization," with the state gradually less directly involved. This argument not only explains the particulars of ACT UP's activism, but also poses challenges to theorizing on contemporary ("new") social movements.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
351
    351
  • Thumbnail: Page 
352
    352
  • Thumbnail: Page 
353
    353
  • Thumbnail: Page 
354
    354
  • Thumbnail: Page 
355
    355
  • Thumbnail: Page 
356
    356
  • Thumbnail: Page 
357
    357
  • Thumbnail: Page 
358
    358
  • Thumbnail: Page 
359
    359
  • Thumbnail: Page 
360
    360
  • Thumbnail: Page 
361
    361
  • Thumbnail: Page 
362
    362
  • Thumbnail: Page 
363
    363
  • Thumbnail: Page 
364
    364
  • Thumbnail: Page 
365
    365
  • Thumbnail: Page 
366
    366
  • Thumbnail: Page 
367
    367