Fenómeno salud-enfermedad, transformación cultural y mediación cultural: un estudio del SIDA entre los indígenas Xokleng en el estado de Santa Catarina, Brasil

Ill-health phenomena, sociocultural transformation and cultural mediation: a study of AIDS among the Xokleng Indians in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil

F B Wiik
The University of Chicago; Brazilian National Aids Program, Brasilia, Brazil

Background:

The study relates aids cases occurred in 1988/89 to sociocultural disruptions and transformations occurred in this indigenous group’s universe. It is argued that the local construction of aids operates as a cultural mediator for the transformations the society undergone with the advent of Aids and the impact brought by the construction of a dam in their land.

Methods:

The results are based on twenty months field-work research; historical archives; interviews with health and government personnel and institutions.

Results:

Ethnomedical categories, cosmology, and Xokleng concepts of bodiliness are related to their social organization, which are thus connected to how the aids cases have been experienced. The latter are focused on the relationship between their emergence and the changes occurring in the Xokleng socio-political and economical world with the construction of a dam. This relationship is established because aids operates as an element of cultural mediation, through which they frame, incorporate or reject the macro-socio-political and economical transformations their society underwent in the last two decades.

Conclusions:

Ill-health phenomena and social processes of sociocultural transformations should be analyzed together because the body, theories of bodiliness, degenerative bodily processes, and macro-structural elements are all articulated by social (medical) praxis. The inter-connection of these variants employed to understand the social impact of HIV/Aids among the Xokeng, should be tested in other socioanthropological and sociohistorical studies and fields since HIV/aids stays for most of peripheral societies as a metaphor for modernization and capitalistic relations.

The XIV International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. E11519


Suggested Citation
” F B Wiik , Ill-health phenomena, sociocultural transformation and cultural mediation: a study of AIDS among the Xokleng Indians in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil . Print Only: The XIV International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. E11519″

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