Subscribing to Governmental Rationality: HBO and the AIDS Epidemic

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Between 1987 and 2013, HBO produced or distributed over twenty HIV/AIDS programs. These films trace a cultural shift from an early focus on AIDS as a public health issue to be dealt with through individual “safe-sex” practices and ethical citizenship to a later focus on AIDS as a global pandemic where the explicit strategy becomes a reliance on non-state actors to combat AIDS. This article argues that HBO's HIV/AIDS films are embedded within a cultural approach to AIDS that relies on governmental logics and neoliberal solutions – not direct action, but directing action.

Keywords: Foucault; Governmentality; HBO; HIV/AIDS; Television

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 3, 2014

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