I discuss some processes of identity formation in relation to local forms of civil mobilization and voluntary association within the context of the AIDS epidemic since the mid-1980s. These processes have been maintained through different factors, such as gender, sexual identity and illness. I focus on a range of identities associated to health and illness (clinical identities). On the one hand, they involve broad cultural processes and social dynamics of stigmatization and symbolic violence. On the other hand, they involve the maintenance of health structures, but also social responses and demands. My major analytical question was how a social process caused by the predicament of the AIDS epidemic has contructed particular models of identity. Therefore this research focuses on the emergence, the maintenance and the conflicting relations between different processes and models of identity formation, particularly on the ways in which identities are socially circulated and performed.
AIDS; social identity; clinical identity