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Transnational responses to AIDS and the global production of science: a case-study from Rio de Janeiro.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, UMI Dissertation Services, 1996. , xv, 399 p. (UMI No. 9630436)The study presented in this dissertation focuses on 1) the interaction of the AIDS social movement and the medical establishment and 2) the transnational partnerships formed in response to the global pandemic. The first chapter provides an overview of the production of biomedical knowledge and of social commentary about this knowledge. Chapter 2 analyzes the social movement sparked by the inability of the medical establishment to respond to the AIDS crisis efficiently and effectively. The third chapter examines the level of awareness that HIV/AIDS is a global problem and the efforts of international agencies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), to prepare a global response. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is then used as a case study for evaluation of the extent to which the global responses were accompanied by interactive structures which attempted to bridge global gaps and create the conditions for the production of transformative knowledge (chapters 4 and 5). Data for this case study were gathered through ethnographic research conducted among medical, scientific, and activist settings in Rio. The final chapter discusses war metaphors in germ theory and immunology and presents ideas about the possible development of a new paradigm. The study revealed that the period of 1989-90 saw responses to AIDS characterized by networking and interdisciplinary efforts. When the WHO's revolutionary commitment was replaced with a more medicalized approach, efforts towards a major transformation of the paradigm guiding the fields of immunology and infectious disease declined, and each discipline retreated to its specialty.