By Alex Preda
Interpreting the formation of clinical wisdom concerning the AIDS epidemic within the Eighties, Alex Preda highlights the metaphors, narratives, and classifications which framed clinical hypotheses in regards to the nature of the infectious agent and its transmission. Preda compares those arguments with these utilized in the medical research of SARS. He demonstrates how clinical wisdom approximately epidemics is formed by means of cultural narratives and different types of social suggestion via a close assessment of biomedical courses.
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Additional info for Aids Rhetoric and Medical Knowledge
We also encounter a representation of KS in homosexual men (and not only) as identical with the African KS, which legitimates the African origins of AIDS. Further, the African KS is old and new, endemic and epidemic at the same time, according to whether or not it is an argument for the human T-lymphotropic virus III being the causal agent of AIDS. What is generally termed the “medical AIDS discourse” emerges on closer inspection, I submit, as a variety of representations and narratives crossing, overlapping, and contradicting each other.
At the same time, antibody testing could determine which individuals within the risk groups were seropositive and which were not. As a result, group membership and carrier status could theoretically be separated. Given the logic of the biological model, moreover, the concept of high-risk group membership should actually have withered away, and been replaced by the notion of high-risk activities that made infection more likely (italics in original). Despite this logic, a shift in emphasis from “status” to “act” did not occur until “mainstream” heterosexuals were targeted as a population at risk.
According to criteria of success) perform together a set of operations upon an inert object (Elster 1986, p. 12). Criteria and rules (of rationality) determine both the tuning operations (which need not necessarily be harmonious) and those performed upon the object. In this perspective, there is little or nothing to be said about texts, nor about rhetoric or language. Texts can be of sociological interest at best in the sociology of literature, and even then only as objects upon which some action is performed (by the author or by the readers).
Aids Rhetoric and Medical Knowledge by Alex Preda