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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Music as an educational tool for HIV/AIDS : a comparative study MacKinnon, Emily Margaret


This thesis is a critical comparative study of the ways in which music is being used as an educational tool for HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, Brazil, India, China, the U.S., and Canada. Music for education is an aspect of a number of academic disciplines. I introduce the principles of Entertainment-Education and Participatory Communication, which are two methods of conveying education through entertainment. Music cognition, music philosophy, ethnomusicology, sociomusicology, and communication theory offer perspectives on why music is persuasive, emotive, and mnemonic. I present analyses of music HIV/AIDS education efforts from many different regions that employ different methods of music transmission and different musical genres. Some are grassroots interventions, whereas others are large-scale, mass media efforts. I identify a number of high-level themes that emerge from the case studies: music involves the audience, music engages the emotions, music is culturally relevant, music is therapeutic and empowering, and music enhances memory. The case studies highlight a number of specific elements that significantly enhance HIV/AIDS education efforts, elements that should be applied to Canadian efforts. The initiatives that are currently taking place are remarkable, but more efforts are needed to effectively combat the AIDS pandemic.

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