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Gaku Oshima: Societal Envisioning of Biographical AIDS Activism among Gay People Living with HIV in Japan. [Abstract]

The purpose of this paper is to examine the hidden history of AIDS activism among the sexual minority of those living with HIV (PLWH) who practiced societal envisioning from the 1990s to 2000s. The concept of “societal envisioning [shakai-koso 社会構想]” has been developed by sociologists in Japan. Based on research data from the life and oral histories of 22 PLWH, two biographies and related life documents were examined. One biography focused on the founder of a gay-content magazine, the other on the editor of a medical information journal for PLWH. The former aimed to create a gay community through societal envisioning in cooperation with neighbors and visitors. The latter not only collected medical information but also used biographies to cultivate hope for survival and empowerment. By focusing on the concept of societal envisioning, this article contributes to Global Sociology as a way of exploring and discussing how people can confront and enable solidarity to change the lives of those who are colonized, oppressed, and marginalized by prejudice and discrimination.

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