Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Davies, A.W.J., Souleymanov, R., Brennan, D.J.
Imagining Online Sexual Health Outreach: A Critical Investigation into AIDS Service Organizations Workers’ Notions of ‘Gay Community’
(2019) Social Work in Public Health, 34 (4), pp. 353-369.

DOI: 10.1080/19371918.2019.1606755

This paper examines how online outreach workers within AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) discursively imagine notions of “gay community” and the tensions between inequities in varying conceptions of “community” that operate in providers’ and managers’ sexual health online outreach. Through a Foucauldian Discourse Analysis (FDA) of interview data from a community-based research project examining sexual health outreach among gay, bisexual, and queer (GBQ) men, we provide an analysis that problematizes notions of a unitary “gay community” while illustrating how certain privileged subjects are deemed ideal for inclusion and representation within both online and ASO communities. Moreover, we interrogate how online medical health regimes constitute the ideal neoliberal gay male subject who self-responsibilizes and individualizes his sexual health while erasing inequities relating to social location and intersecting identities. Our analysis highlights how homonormative politics infiltrates GBQ sexual health programming and the ways in which understandings of the “self” and gay subjectivities are constituted through biopolitical apparatuses and online sexual health surveillance. We argue that it is necessary to move online sexual health outreach beyond specifically focusing on the needs of white GBQ men by bringing a greater awareness to the continual exclusions which operate within GBQ “communities”. © 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Author Keywords
AIDS Service Organizations; Foucault; gay men; HIV/AIDS; poststructuralism; sexual health outreach

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