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Pride, Shame, and the Trouble with Trying to Be Normal.


I performed 14 person-centered ethnographies with methamphetamine-using HIV-positive men who have sex with men in San Diego, California, who were all subjects of the "anti-meth apparatus," a collection of government and nongovernment organizations focused on meth use and its sequelae. The apparatus attempts to coerce addicts to develop and perform certain identities and emotions, though addicts are capable of both passive acceptance and active disruption. In my research, those who failed to become the apparatus's ideal subject felt shame, while those who succeeded expressed pride. Those hovering in the middle experienced a perpetual struggle to become normal and rarely, if ever, succeeded. [addiction, HIV/AIDS, subjectivity].

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