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Language and HIV/AIDS Edited by: Christina Higgins, Bonny Norton

Paperback - 296 pages
04 Dec 2009
Multilingual Matters
210 x 148


This volume focuses on the role of language in the construction of knowledge about HIV/AIDS in diverse regions of the world. The collection of studies yields helpful insights about the discursive construction of this knowledge in both formal and informal contexts, while demonstrating how the tools of applied linguistics can be exercised to reveal a deeper understanding of the production and dissemination of this knowledge. The authors use a range of qualitative methodologies to critically explore the role of language and discourse in educational contexts in which various and sometimes competing forms of knowledge about HIV/AIDS are constructed. They draw on various forms of discourse analysis, ethnography, and social semiotics to interpret meaning-making practices in HIV/AIDS education in Australia, Cambodia, Burkina Faso, Hong Kong, India, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, and Uganda.


Applied linguistics doesn’t get better than this.

- Applied Linguistics (2010), First published online: December 8, 2010
- Gael Fonken, St Cloud State University

This important volume initiates a necessary dialogue exploring the interrelationship between complex social issues that sit at the crux of policy, practice, development, health care, education, and medicine. The book presents a geographically, contextually, and methodologically diverse contribution to research on language and HIV/AIDS - one that is sensitive, complicated, valuable, and thought-provoking.

- Discourse Studies, 13(3) 381-392, 2011
- Maureen T. Matarese, City University of New York, USA

The discourses and levels of analysis in the book provide linguists and researchers in communication studies with a fresh glimpse into strategies in interpersonal, inter-group and official communication not only in offline face-to-face contexts but also in computer-mediated situations. This book is therefore a good companion for students and researchers interested in linguistic and communicative aspects of HIV/AIDS discourses.

- Discourse & Communication 6(1), 2012
- Eric A. Anchimbe, University of Bayreuth, Germany

Author Biography:

Dr Christina Higgins is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she teaches courses in sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, and intercultural communication. Her recent research has focused on communication in NGO-sponsored HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness education in Tanzania, where she has investigated the discursive construction of local and global worldviews. In her book, English as a local language: Post-colonial identities and multilingual practices (Multilingual Matters), she has also explored the role of language and popular culture in HIV/AIDS awareness efforts in hip hop lyrics and in public health advertisements. Her website can be found at http://www2.hawaii.edu/~cmhiggin.

Dr Bonny Norton is Professor and Distinguished University Scholar in the Department of Language and Literacy Education, University of British Columbia, Canada.  Her award-winning research addresses identity and language learning, education and international development, and critical literacy. Her current research investigates the use of innovative technology to promote multilingual literacy in sub-Saharan Africa. Recent publications include Identity and Language Learning (Longman/Pearson, 2000); Critical Pedagogies and Language Learning (Cambridge University Press, 2004, w. K. Toohey); and Gender and English Language Learners (TESOL, 2004, w. A. Pavlenko). Her website can be found at http://lerc.educ.ubc.ca/fac/norton/.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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