The Micro Dynamics of Support Seeking: The Social and Economic Utility of Institutional Ties for HIV-Positive Women

Celeste Watkins-Hayes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous literature suggests that AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) play an important support role in the lives of impoverished women living with HIV. Less is known about the dynamics of institutional support for middle-class women living with HIV/AIDS, who are assumed to possess a broader base of resources to address their diagnosis. Using qualitative data collected from a racially and economically diverse group of HIV-positive women in Chicago, this article compares how low-income and middle-class women utilize ASOs and reveals how the women's divergent approaches to availing themselves of institutional resources have important implications for their social and economic coping. For example, associating with ASOs can be status-improving for impoverished women and status-diminishing for middle-class women. As a result, middle-class women report a less robust network of social service providers and people living with HIV/AIDS on whom they rely for HIV-related information and social support, making them vulnerable to HIV-specific social isolation. In sum, the ways that HIV-positive women deploy institutional ties to negotiate their HIV/AIDS status differs markedly depending on socioeconomic status, suggesting that the role of class in gathering social support may be more complex than previously understood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-101
Number of pages19
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Volume647
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2013

Keywords

  • HIV/AIDS
  • health
  • organizations
  • social networks
  • social social

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The Micro Dynamics of Support Seeking: The Social and Economic Utility of Institutional Ties for HIV-Positive Women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this