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State-sanctioned discrimination and media discourses on homosexuality in Namibia
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media.
2011 (English)In: Journal of African Media Studies, ISSN 2040-199X, E-ISSN 1751-7974, Vol. 3, no 1, 57-72 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article critically discusses the events arising from the finalization of the NamibianNational HIV/AIDS Policy of 2007. A series of consultative meetings throughoutNamibia produced a progressive draft policy that recognized individuals engagedin same-sex sexual relationships and emphasized the distinct vulnerabilities of thegroup. However, despite solid epidemiological support and stakeholders’ endorsementof inclusion, the key section dealing with same-sex relations never made itinto print. By using document analyses, interviews and media content analysis, thearticle concludes that state-sanctioned discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexualand transgendered (LGBT) individuals, outlined in existing Namibian criminallaws, also resulted in a denial of their rights to health in the new HIV/AIDS policy.Moreover, the study found that the state-sanctioned discrimination is reproduced inthe state-owned print media, and that LGBT individuals are dependent on the independentmedia for visibility. The implications of the media discourses are discussedusing an agenda setting perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Intellect Ltd , 2011. Vol. 3, no 1, 57-72 p.
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-150224DOI: 10.1386/jams.3.1.57_1ISI: 000290934900005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-150224DiVA: diva2:406692
Available from: 2011-03-28 Created: 2011-03-28 Last updated: 2015-07-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Perilous Silences and Counterproductive Narratives Pertaining to HIV/AIDS in the Ugandan, Lesotho and Namibian Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Perilous Silences and Counterproductive Narratives Pertaining to HIV/AIDS in the Ugandan, Lesotho and Namibian Press
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Research on Western mainstream media’s framing of HIV/AIDS in the 1980’s, showed that media narratives influenced audiences’ understanding of the epidemic, as well as society’s responses. Subsequently, by analyzing a society’s mass media and its framing of HIV/AIDS, it is possible to explore what understandings are given preferential treatment in that society, as well as explore what social change those narratives indirectly or directly facilitate. Such an analysis is particularly important in Sub-Saharan Africa, the continent most affected by HIV/AIDS and which has struggled to reverse the course of the epidemic. This dissertation has in five separate articles, not only identified and described media narratives on HIV/AIDS and the closely related topic of same-sex sexuality in three countries hard-hit by the epidemic –Lesotho, Namibia and Uganda – but also discussed the potential effects of persistent silences, as well as narratives that are counterproductive to the countries’ ability to respond to their epidemics. The research uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches: content analysis of independent and government-controlled print media products, semi-structured interviews with media practitioners and representatives from organizations that seek to influence the media agenda, as well as analysis of legislative and policy documents.

The articles discuss a range of persistent silences and counterproductive narratives on HIV/AIDS in the three countries. Overall, the media is found to largely fail in providing its readers with narratives that contain many of the particular factors – economic, social, cultural, biological, as well as those related to stigma and discrimination –that fuel their epidemics. The research however also finds differences between the countries and the types of media. In particular privately-owned media is found to play important role in terms of acknowledging the existence of same-sex sexuality as well as relevance in relation to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services in Namibian and Ugandan.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2011. 87 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 71
HIV/AIDS, mass media, homosexuality, Africa
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies; International Health
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-157234 (URN)978-91-554-8134-6 (ISBN)
External cooperation:
Public defence
2011-09-29, H2, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsg 10, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2011-09-08 Created: 2011-08-22 Last updated: 2016-08-31Bibliographically approved

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Strand, Cecilia
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