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Hope: a new approach to understanding structural factors in HIV acquisition

Barnett, Tony ORCID: 0000-0001-9399-9607, Seeley, Janet, Levin, Jonathan and Katongole, Joseph (2015) Hope: a new approach to understanding structural factors in HIV acquisition. Global Public Health, 10 (4). pp. 417-437. ISSN 1744-1692

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Identification Number: 10.1080/17441692.2015.1007154


This paper presents the first empirical results of a long term project exploring the use of hope as a concept summarising people’s experience of the social, economic and cultural world they inhabit. The work has its roots in attempts to understand socio-economic aspects of HIV/AIDS epidemiology through recourse to the term “structural drivers”. In this paper we recognise the distinguished contribution made by that body of work but adopt a different theoretical approach, one based on the idea of emergent social properties. This is an idea derived from the Durkheim’s notion of a “social current”. One such emergent property is hope and its potential use and applicability as an epidemiological variable is described. The variable is measured using the Snyder scale developed by the late Rick Snyder for quite other purposes in the USA. We use data from the long standing UK MRC/UVRI General Cohort Study in Uganda together with a smaller study of some fishing communities. The results show that the Snyder scale does: (a) measure a real variable; (b) mean something to Ugandan rural populations; (c) can be used to explore some known risk factors for HIV acquisition.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 The Authors
Divisions: Social Policy
LSE Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2015 09:42
Last Modified: 21 May 2024 23:21
Funders: MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS, DFID UK

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