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VIH, stigmatisation et honte aux îles Fidji

Abstract : This dissertation examines the stigma associated with HIV in Fiji, in the South Pacific. It analyzes the forms taken by stigma associated with the infection, the moral universe in which it takes place and the social and cultural logics underlying it in the Fijian society. It also examines how people living with HIV experience this stigma and the strategies they use to cope with it. The analyses presented draw on a 16-month fieldwork research carried out in Suva, the capital of Fiji, between 2007 and 2013. They are based on the life stories of 28 HIV-positive men and women with whom I had long-term exchanges. Drawing on Arthur Kleinman’s theoretical framework that considers stigma as an essentially moral issue in which a stigmatized condition threatens what is most at stake for actors in a local moral world, I show that HIV is, for most Fijians, a symbol of the multiple threats (sexuality outside of marriage, sexuality between people of the same sex, etc.) that endanger today, in their view, the religious and customary institutions of family and marriage. Fijian's stigmatizing attitudes towards HIV-positive people—and primarily gossips—can thus be seen as attempts to preserve these institutions that are the very foundation of the Fijian social order. For people living with HIV, the infection puts at risk what they value most, i.e. to be seen as a valuable person in the eyes of their family, lineage, clan and village, and to maintain appropriate and unstrained relationships with them. Shame is therefore the dominant emotion underlying the experience of most HIV-positive people. An important dimension of the work of managing HIV for HIV-positive people in Fiji, as I argue in this dissertation, is thus to negotiate stigma and shame and to try to avoid its spread and/or to minimize its effects on their loved ones. To do so, they employ different strategies, notably trying to keep their condition secret, distancing themselves from the image of immorality associated with HIV by converting to a Pentecostal church or embracing an “HIV-positive identity” by joining a support group for people living with HIV. However, I show that the level of stigma experienced by HIV-positive people in Fiji, as well as their capacity to respond to it, is not the same for everyone. Three main factors influence the way HIV-positive people experience and cope with stigma and shame: morality, gender and socioeconomic level.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-03096493
Contributor : Fabienne Labbé <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - 4:03:03 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - 11:59:30 AM

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  • HAL Id : tel-03096493, version 1

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Fabienne Labbé. VIH, stigmatisation et honte aux îles Fidji. Anthropologie sociale et ethnologie. EHESS, 2020. Français. ⟨tel-03096493⟩

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