3_Media Activism and Internet Use by People with AIDS

3_Media Activism and Internet Use by People with AIDS - 610...

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610 James Gillett © Blackwell Publishing Ltd/Editorial Board 2003 (Juhasz 1995). Media projects have created public forums through which people with HIV/AIDS can share their stories and knowledge and seek out mutual support, education and advocacy. The use of media to create cultural spaces as a forum for those with marginalised or stigmatised identities has become a common feature of contemporary social movements. Literature on the role of contemporary social movements in revitalising the public sphere in post-industrial societies provides insight into the trend toward media activism. The foundation for this literature has been Habermas’ (1989) writing on the bourgeois public sphere. Feminist scholars, while critical of Habermas, have used his work to understand the process by which social movements create their own public forums as a means of bringing about social change. It is argued that organised social networks provide the foundation for the formation of alternative public spheres (Fraser 1992, Felski 1989). This literature on activism and
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