Communication Practices in the Social Construction of Health in an AIDS Kesidence Journal Article uri icon



  • Physical illness and well-being, while grounded in bodily and psychological experiences, are also constructed socially through communication practices. Significant symbols, rituals and myths, among other forms, converge to create shared meanings that help define the health/illness experience. This article first provides a conceptual framework for understanding how communication intertwines physical, psychological and collective worlds. This perspective is then contextualized by illustrating some communication practices within a residential facility for people with AIDS that help residents cope with the 'depression bind' created by the need to 'grieve efficiently' over the loss of fellow residents. In- depth interviews with residents uncover metaphors that describe this bind, the military and journey myths embedded in the language of 'fighting AIDS' and 'passing', and the remembering and 're membering' rituals of bereavement. These communication practices help residents grasp elusive meanings, discharge deep and contradictory feelings and manage the tensions of everyday life.

publication date

  • July 1, 1996

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • July 31, 2014 12:45 PM

Full Author List

  • Frey LR; Adelman MB; Query JL

author count

  • 3

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1359-1053

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1461-7277

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 383

end page

  • 397


  • 1


  • 3