An earlier version of this report was presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Society, June 2002, New Orleans, LA.
Social Representations of AIDS: Pictures in Abnormal Psychology Textbooks, 1984–20051
Version of Record online: 14 JAN 2010
© 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 40, Issue 1, pages 13–35, January 2010
How to Cite
Schoeneman, T. J., Schoeneman-Morris, K. A., Obradovic, J. and Beecher-Flad, L. (2010), Social Representations of AIDS: Pictures in Abnormal Psychology Textbooks, 1984–2005. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 40: 13–35. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2009.00561.x
- Issue online: 14 JAN 2010
- Version of Record online: 14 JAN 2010
We identified 129 pictures relating to AIDS/HIV in 94 abnormal psychology textbooks published between 1984 and 2005. Pictures included 189 persons with AIDS/HIV status or risk and 134 AIDS-related objects; they appeared in chapters on stress, sexual issues, substance abuse, and organic brain disorders. Individuals depicted were overwhelmingly male, White, adult, of unspecified sexual orientation, and undiagnosed with mental disorder. The most frequent AIDS-related objects were signs and posters, hospital furnishings, and drug paraphernalia. Thematic motifs across pictures included patient, information source, junkie, support group, celebrity, child victim, protesters, memorials, condom dispensary, and viral attack. Images of AIDS continue to invoke concepts of “the Other,” death, victimization, and culpability. It is difficult to discuss AIDS without accessing its stereotypes.