Participatory Change in a Campaign Led by Sex Workers: Connecting Resistance to Action-Oriented Agency

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health, communication, culture, sex worker, campaign, resistance, agency

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Studies predict that the number of HIV infections among commercial sex workers (CSWers) in India may rise to 3.93 million. Efforts have been made to stem the tide. But most campaigns have been designed to ensure condom compliance among CSWers by spreading awareness and increasing availability. Absent from the discursive space of such campaigns are the agency of CSWers and their ability to resist dominant social structures. The authors respond to this lacuna in health communication by foregrounding voices of CSWers participating in two HIV/AIDS interventions in India. Based on the culture-centered approach to health communication and subaltern studies theory, it examines data from two sites to analyze how communicative narratives of agency and resistance are enacted in the marginalized lives of sex workers.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Qualitative Health Research, v. 18, issue 1, p. 106-119.