Captain’s Blog, 2015.08.12

Was für ein Mist.

Ich habe meine Gliederung umgeschmissen. Mir ist klar geworden – durch viele Gespräche mit Kommiliton/innen, meiner Betreuerin, und Leuten inner- und außerhalb meiner Session auf dem histocamp – dass das alles nicht ganz so funktioniert, wie ich mir das dachte.

Meine Gliederung sieht jetzt so aus, dass nach dem einführenden Kapitel 1 und dem historischen Kontext (Kap 2) jetzt ein einzelnes großes Kapitel zur Methodologie kommt. Vorher hatte ich geplant, Key Concepts und Methodology getrennt zu behandeln – quasi einerseits die Theorie des Diskurses und der D.-Analyse zu erklären und dann, wie man eine D.-Analyse durchführt.

Es stellte sich nun leider raus, dass vor allem die historische Diskursanalyse keine Methode ist (im Sinne eines Werkzeugkastens), sondern eher eine etwas breiter zu sehende Herangehensweise, quasi ein Forschungsparadigma, eine Geisteshaltung.

Und das ist nunmehr so sehr mit den theoretischen Grundlagen der Diskurstheorie verbunden (der Konnex von Sprache, Wissen, Wahrheit, Macht), dass es mir nicht möglich ist, das getrennt darzustellen.

Den Morgen habe ich jetzt damit verbracht, meine Gliederung und alle damit verbundenen Strukturen (Leseliste, Mindmap, Citavi-Projekt etc.) umzustrukturieren. Weil ich jetzt auch akut keinen Plan habe, wie ich genau weitermachen soll, habe ich einfach mal alle Exzerpte ausgedruckt, die in den letzten Wochen und Monaten in den Kategorien zu “Key Concepts” und “Methodology” gelandet sind. Das sind 20 Seiten – daraus müsste ich doch eigentlich was gebastelt kriegen, was wie eine kohärente Darstellung der Diskurstheorie aussieht. Das ganze verquicke ich dann mit meinem bereits existenten Unterkapitel zur Corpus Linguistics und tada – Methodology. Hoffentlich.

Es ist aber nicht alles Mist. Ich habe einen ganz netten Entwurf meines Einstiegs, in dem ich die Relevanz meines Themas erkläre. Wie immer bei Textentwürfen gilt: Feedback erlaubt und erwünscht! 🙂

Achja – was ihr lest, habe ich teilweise aus dem Papierkorb bei Google Drive gekramt. Ob ich das jetzt gelöscht habe oder was da schief gelaufen ist, weiß ich nicht. Zumindest lag die Arbeit der letzten 2 Monate auf einmal im Papierkorb. Zum Glück war alles wiederherstellbar, aber gehörig erschreckt habe ich mich dennoch.

(Kapitel 1.1: Relevance of Topic, 2015.12.08)


 

There are two distinct topics that make this study relevant and which were and are often convalesced: homosexuality and the rights of sexual minority groups on the one hand, and HIV/ AIDS on the other hand.

In the last couple of years, LGBTQI rights have been a topic of discussion in many countries. In most cases, laws and decisions were made that expanded the rights of homosexual men and women. In the United States, the legal situation for homosexuals changed rather quickly within little more than a decade: The 2003 landmark Lawrence v. Texas decision by the Supreme Court legalised consensual homosexual contact between adults across the USA.[1] Since 2010, ‘outed’ homosexuals are allowed to serve in the US military after the repeal of the 1993 ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy that forbid non-heterosexuals to disclose their sexuals orientation whilst serving the US military.[2] In 2013, the Supreme Court repealed the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act in the United States v. Windsor case, effectively allowing the individual states to decide whether they would legalise homosexual marriages.[3] In their latest decision on the matter, the Supreme Court expanded on the 2013 decision with the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision, ruling that all states must recognise same-sax marriages licensed in another state, thus effectively legalising marriages between two men or two women throughout the United States.[4] Especially the 2013 and 2015 SCOTUS decisions, with their careful delineation of state’s rights and powers (states may decide to license homosexual marriages, but may not choose to dismiss other states’ licenses), and the dissenting opinion of the judges show that despite their relatively quick pace, there is still a conservative proportion in the US opposing homosexual marriage specifically and sexual minority rights generally.

More than 35 years after its discovery, HIV/ AIDS continues to be one of the prime global health concerns. In some countries, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa, HIV/ AIDS prevalence rates amongst adults exceeds 25%.[5] In the USA, there are about 1.25 million people living with HIV/ AIDS (0.4% of the population).[6] More than 1 million people died of AIDS worldwide in 2014.[7] In the US, roughly 13,000 people diagnosed with AIDS died in 2013.[8]

HIV/ AIDS continues to be of world-wide concern. The United Nations’ World Health Organization has designated the 1 December of each year as ‘World AIDS Day’, in order to increase awareness of the disease. The International AIDS Society holds an annual conference to co-ordinate scientific research and political actions regarding this pandemic. Tragically, a number of HIV/ AIDS researchers and other relevant persons en route to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia, were killed in the MH 17 crash in July 2014 in the Ukraine.  Despite this setback, the search for a treatment of infected person continues and shows promises of an eventual cure of HIV/ AIDS. However, there is a small but persistent community of persons who continue to challenge HIV/ AIDS research on a fundamental level. Forming a movement that has been labelled as HIV/ AIDS denialism, these persons reject many aspects of the origin, virology, mode of spread, (in-)curability and many other aspects of the pandemic, some even denying the very existence of the HI virus and the AID syndrome. These individuals have gained so much prominence that scientists following the majority consensus of HIV/ AIDS research have published the “Durban Declaration” as a response to the HIV/ AIDS denialist claims.[9]

In the United States, as in many other ‘first-world’ countries, the rates of new HIV infections remain relatively stable on a low level.  In each year, about 50,000 Americans are newly diagnoses as carriers of the HI virus. Most newly infected Americans are between 20 and 35 years of age, while also a significant number of infected people are aged between 35 and 60.[10] In the United States, as in many other ‘first-world’ countries, the rates of new HIV infections remain relatively stable on a low level.  In each year, about 50,000 Americans are newly diagnoses as carriers of the HI virus. Most newly infected Americans are between 20 and 35 years of age, while also a significant number of infected people are aged between 35 and 60. Infection rates differ between ethnic groups, with Black/ African Americans having significantly higher rates of HIV prevalence in the USA.  The vast majority of men who are newly diagnosed with HIV/ AIDS were infected through homosexual contact[11]. Due to this, homosexual men are often barred from donating blood in many countries, as their sexual behaviour is still considered as a risk in itself.[12]

These paragraphs have shown that both homosexuality and HIV/ AIDS are topics of current societal and political significance. As the example of blood donation and infection rates showed, there is still some connection between these two topics, and the discussion to what extent this connection is causal or merely a correlation is highly contested and often polemical rather than factual. So, while homosexuals have experienced a significant improvement in their legal status in the United States, and while medical advances have increased both life expectancy and quality of HIV sufferers at least in certain parts of the world, HIV/ AIDS remains a pressing issue and still has its (discursive) connections with homosexuality. The aim of my study is to investigate the roots of this link in the wake of the occurrence of HIV/ AIDS in the United States.

[1] Supreme Court of the United States. Lawrence et al. v. Texas, 2002. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. <http://​supreme.justia.com​/​cases/​federal/​us/​539/​558/​case.pdf>.

[2] Congress of the United States. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010, 2010. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. <http://​www.gpo.gov​/​fdsys/​pkg/​PLAW-111publ321/​pdf/​PLAW-111publ321.pdf>.

[3] Supreme Court of the United States. United States v. Windsor, 2012. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. <http://​supreme.justia.com​/​cases/​federal/​us/​570/​12-307/​case.pdf>.

[4] Supreme Court of the United States. Obergefell et al. v. Hodges, 2014. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. <http://​supreme.justia.com​/​cases/​federal/​us/​576/​14-556/​case.pdf>.

[5] Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook: Country Comparison: HIV/ AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. <https://​www.cia.gov​/​library/​publications/​the-world-factbook/​rankorder/​2155rank.html>.

[6] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV/ AIDS: Statistics Overview, 2015. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. <http://​www.cdc.gov​/​hiv/​statistics/​overview/​index.html>.

[7] Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook: Field Listing: HIV/ AIDS – Deaths. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. <https://​www.cia.gov​/​library/​publications/​the-world-factbook/​fields/​2157.html>.

[8] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV/ AIDS: Statistics Overview, 2015. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. <http://​www.cdc.gov​/​hiv/​statistics/​overview/​index.html>.

[9] “The Durban Declaration.” Nature 406 (2000): 15–16. Print.

[10] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV/ AIDS: Statistics Overview, 2015. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. <http://​www.cdc.gov​/​hiv/​statistics/​overview/​index.html>.

[11] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Surveillance Report, Vol. 25: Diagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2013, 2015. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. <http://​www.cdc.gov​/​hiv/​pdf/​library/​reports/​surveillance/​cdc-hiv-surveillance-report-vol-25.pdf>.

[12] “Schwulen darf Blutspende verweigert werden.” Die ZEIT 29 Apr. 2015. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. <http://​www.zeit.de​/​politik/​2015-04/​blutspende-homosexuelle-europaeischer-gerichtshof>.