chapter  Chapter 2
21 Pages

Governing AIDS: The State-Medicine-Community Triad

WithRobert M. Ariss†, Gary W. Dowsett

Three key fields and their relation to each other are sketched: the interventionist nature of the Australian state, particularly in the realm of health; the biomedical construction of homosexuality and the counter-discourse of gay movements; and the emergence of community as both a site of population administration and localized resistance. This chapter shows how a more sophisticated theory of gay community was developed through AIDS research, one which conceptualized community as a matrix of social relations built on forms of attachment between men. Young men, often with few skills or previous work experience, are being provided new work opportunities that have a significant influence on their gay identities, their relations to gay community, and to the wider world. The gay community has been able to enter into political relations with the Australian state only after undergoing a process of professionalization that draws it into the political culture of a ruling class.