Ideology, hegemony and HIV/AIDS : the appropriation of indigenous and global spheres.
Ideology is a fundamental aspect of society, and ideological analysis has been applied to the development of explanatory frameworks for understanding structural dominance within social formations. Structural and post-structural conceptions of ideology have focused on macro-ideological phenomena and processes, offering explanation of relations between economic base and super-structure as they interrelate with ideological dominance. Ideologies serve the interests of particular social formations or classes over others, and at the macro-level this has to do with organised thought as it relates to power. This thesis explores the concept of ideology and related concepts of dominance, power and hegemony, through relocating macrolevel understandings and analysis of ideology within analysis of superstructural entities - notably organisations, groups and elites. HIV/AIDS is an ecological phenomenon that is accompanied by processes of sense-making that incorporate ideological dimensions in the public sphere, particularly in relation to social policy and strategy. Ideological discourses about HIV/AIDS have drawn on specific epistemological foundations and world-views, incorporating intersections with parallel ideologies, and in many instances being directed towards achieving expansion and dominance of particular ideas. This ideological strategy incorporates the construction of common sense. Ideological claims are reiterative, but are also related to processes of legitimation that combine structural relations with communicative power. A South African HIV/AIDS programme, LoveLife, is utilised as a case study to demonstrate ideological trajectories over time. The inter-relation between claims about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, claims about impact of the LoveLife programme, and the utility of alliances and structural partnerships in legitimating such claims is explored. These claims-making processes are found to also occur at global level through the active resourcing and facilitation by LoveLife programme's founding funder, the Kaiser Family Foundation. These activities intersect in the development of an ideological bloc that is directed towards expansion and dominance through appropriation of indigenous and global discourse spheres.