Public citizens, marginalized communities: The struggle for syringe exchange in Springfield, Massachusetts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Syringe exchange programs, which, in order to prevent HIV infections, provide injection drug users with sterile syringes in exchange for used ones, operate at the intersection of conflicting social and political beliefs about disease, drugs, the common good, and the law. This paper describes community opposition that emerged from diverse quarters in response to a proposed syringe exchange program (SEP) in Springfield, Massachusetts. White suburban residents and inner-city African-Americans both drew on concepts of personal responsibility and self-sufficiency as they described their opposition to SEP. Through archival research and in-depth interviews with key community figures, I show how their similar political positions resulted from highly divergent views on the role of government in caring for citizens and communities. These arguments about addiction, HIV, and community both index and turn on the unique relationships with government experienced by a range of social actors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-63
Number of pages33
JournalMedical Anthropology
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2006

Fingerprint

Needle-Exchange Programs
Syringes
citizen
community
opposition
drug
common good
self-sufficiency
Social Justice
social actor
Drug Users
addiction
African Americans
HIV Infections
HIV
Interviews
resident
Disease
responsibility
Injections

Keywords

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Neoliberalism
  • Syringe exchange
  • Urban health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Public citizens, marginalized communities : The struggle for syringe exchange in Springfield, Massachusetts. / Shaw, Susan J.

In: Medical Anthropology, Vol. 25, No. 1, 01.2006, p. 31-63.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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