Rites of belonging: Grief, memorial and social action

Power, Jennifer
October 2009
Health Sociology Review;Oct2009, Vol. 18 Issue 3, p260
Academic Journal
Since the first panels of the Australian AIDS Memorial Quilt were officially launched in Sydney in 1988, it has become a widely recognised memorial to people who have died from AIDS. This paper discusses how AIDS Memorials, namely the AIDS Quilt and the annual Candlelight Vigils, have challenged the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS through creating public space for the expression of grief. The paper draws on the idea of ‘social movement frames’, demonstrating how, through the use of symbolic actions and ritualised performance, the political and ideological beliefs of the AIDS movement were expressed not only through articulated argument or attempt at rational persuasion, but through the demonstration of alternative cultural practice.


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