Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Communications and Arts


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Chris Griffin

Second Advisor

Dr Nancy Hudson-Rodd


This study set out to examine literature relating to social network theory and narrative theory in order to explore how their potential connection could be used in future to understand and improve the actual life-experiences of women infected by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The thesis was done entirely by library research using secondary sources but is original in its intent. It includes a critical examination of some of the work of earlier researchers, including Lockhart's (2000) anthropological study of the social construction of `risk' of AIDS in urban Tanzania. Much previous research studied the problem of HIV and AIDS among women in different parts of the world and the factors that increase their vulnerability to the epidemic. However there has been a tendency to ignore women's own narratives, even though it is only through these that we can best understand their situation and help design and implement preventative and intervention programs culturally tailored to their needs.