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HIV/AIDS POLICIES IN AUSTRALIA: BUREAUCRACY AND COLLECTIVE ACTION

Barbara A. Misztal (Division of Humanities, Griffith University, Queensland)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Publication date: 1 April 1991

Abstract

Emergencies commonly reveal the disorder from which routine order is painfully extracted. They dramatise social fissures, inconsistencies and ignorance that ordinarily remain hidden or can be ignored without damage or controversy. They transform the taken‐for‐granted into the up‐for‐discussion, compel the formation of decisions and accompanying justifications, and demand action of a special and urgent kind. Using Unger (1988) terminology, we can say that emergencies might reduce fixed distance between context and routines, thus they can be perceived as “context‐revising” situations, providing possibilities for lifting “a powerful constraint over all social practices, forcing them into a specific mould of predictable routines” (Unger 1988, p. 125). AIDS (an acronym formally designating the most developed stage of HIV infection but misleadingly used in our lexicon of public concern to stand for the disease as a whole), is such an emergency, not only due to the extent of the spread of the disease, but because this epidemic presents so many difficult ethical, legal and technical issues, and because of growing and changing knowledge about the disease, it requires continuous rethinking of strategies and adopting them to new discoveries.

Citation

Misztal, B.A. (1991), "HIV/AIDS POLICIES IN AUSTRALIA: BUREAUCRACY AND COLLECTIVE ACTION", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 62-82. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb013137

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited