A Question of Life, A Sentence of Death : Analysis of the Empowerment Discourse for HIV/AIDS in Guatemala City

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A Question of Life, A Sentence of Death : Analysis of the Empowerment Discourse for HIV/AIDS in Guatemala City

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Title: A Question of Life, A Sentence of Death : Analysis of the Empowerment Discourse for HIV/AIDS in Guatemala City
Author: Leitner-Laserna, Liliana
Advisor: Porter, Judith; Noonan-Ngwane, Zolani
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Anthropology
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Running Time: 980030 bytes161271 bytes
Issue Date: 2006
Abstract: In this thesis, I examine the ways in which the term “empowerment” (empoderamiento) is conceptualized and utilized by various actors in the HIV/AIDS community in Guatemala City. My desire to explore this theme stems from the participant-observation I conducted in a Médecins Sans Frontiéres HIV/AIDS clinic from March-August 2004. In my thesis I analyze the various discourses emerging around this word, its evolution/development in different spheres and people, and its deployment and appropriation by various individuals. Utilizing interview data from fieldwork conducted in December 2005, I use two analytical methodologies to investigate the discourses that healthcare providers and patients present regarding the notion of “empowerment.” The first analysis uses a coding model both to characterize the nature of the discourses, uncovering trends between patients and providers, and to compare these discourses to the First World’s articulation of the word empowerment (using World Bank’s definition). The second analysis utilizes a case study of a patient/ provider to explore the complexities of adopting a First World discourse. Here I demonstrate that attempts to “localize” the concept of empowerment is limited to translating the word linguistically and to using local people to promote its use. I argue that attempts to promote First World discourses indeed fail to instill a true local empowerment because the underlying ideological presuppositions in the term “empowerment” leaves no room for local understandings. Such a pattern proves to be unsustainable and ineffective to promote true grassroots empowerment. Hence in this thesis I propose that the World Bank changes its current day definition of empowerment in order to frame development programs directly from local people’s epistemology.
Subject: HIV infections -- Treatment -- Guatemala -- Guatemala
Subject: AIDS (Disease) -- Patients -- Services for -- Guatemala -- Guatemala
Subject: Language and languages -- Political aspects
Terms of Use: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/605

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Citation

Leitner-Laserna, Liliana. "A Question of Life, A Sentence of Death : Analysis of the Empowerment Discourse for HIV/AIDS in Guatemala City". 2006. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/605.

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/ Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/