Salutogenic versus pathogenic metaphorical language usage in South Africa's National HIV/AIDS Education Policy
Heyns, Jacques Mcdermid
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This study explored the use of metaphorical language in South Africa’s national HIV/AIDS education policy, and to what extent the metaphorical messages conveyed about HIV and AIDS in the policy are essentially health engendering (salutogenic) or illness oriented (pathogenic). To analyse the data the study followed a qualitative thematic discourse analysis approach. The MIPVU (Metaphor Identification Procedure Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam) was used to identify conceptual metaphors directly related to HIV and/or AIDS, and thematic discourse analysis was used to group these metaphors into overarching themes. For methodological rigor and validation purposes, a co-coder and Cohen’s kappa coefficient were used. The initial identification of the metaphors was done using ATLAS.ti (version 8.0) by labelling (or tagging) the metaphors, after which each metaphor was manually grouped into one of the themes for further analysis and discussion. Data analysis resulted in the identification of 55 metaphors directly related to HIV and/or AIDS, which were grouped into 9 overarching themes. The results revealed that the most prevalent metaphor themes in the policy were process (the most prevalent), change (second most prevalent), and action (third most prevalent). These three themes made up 60% of the metaphors used in the policy. Furthermore, the results also revealed that the majority (~56.4%) of the metaphors in the policy can be perceived as positive, while ~29.1% can be perceived as negative, and ~14.5% can be perceived as neutral. The results revealed that the metaphorical messages conveyed about HIV and AIDS in the policy are essentially meant to be health engendering (salutogenic). Lastly, the results revealed that a possible narrative or perhaps even ideology about the policy could be to provide processes (devising methods) to initiate and aid (agency) actions to create positive change (transformation). This mini-dissertation consists of three chapters, starting with an introductory chapter (Chapter 1), and followed by a research article, which contains the main findings of the study (Chapter 2). The mini-dissertation concludes with a chapter that outlines the limitations of the study, directions for future research, and conclusions (Chapter 3).
- Health Sciences