Reproducing control and reinforcing the un-black Han Chinese nation: narrating race, place, gender and disease in China’s health media

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This article seeks to understand the meanings associated with HIV/AIDS in China’s media and examine how the “distance” many urban Chinese people feel toward HIV/AIDS is sustained, despite major changes in public health campaigns that indicate otherwise. It draws on evidence from China’s press and public health media, which remain overlooked in studies on attitudes toward HIV even though 90 percent of urban Chinese learn about HIV from the media, making it supremely important in informing urban understandings of the virus. In particular, the article examines how susceptibility to infection has become associated with racial and gender characteristics through the early portrayal of Africans in China’s media reports on HIV/AIDS. It suggests that the geographical and corporeal signification of Africa and Africans establishes an understanding that connects the “dark” consequences of HIV with skin color and a supposed lack of sociomoral and economic development, thus enabling Chinese audiences to perceive themselves as distant from or even immune to the virus. Finally, the article suggests that if attitudes toward HIV/AIDS are to be addressed, then the racialized attitudes in media toward HIV need to be analyzed, challenged, and changed
TidsskriftModern China
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)280-318
StatusUdgivet - maj 2013
Udgivet eksterntJa

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