Developing Online Social Support in Malaysia: Social Networks and Social Relationships among Caregivers of People Living with HIV/AIDS

Hassan, Z. (2009) Developing Online Social Support in Malaysia: Social Networks and Social Relationships among Caregivers of People Living with HIV/AIDS. ["eprint_fieldopt_thesis_type_phd" not defined] thesis, Royal Holloway, University of London.

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Evidence points to the fact that caregivers of PLWHAs, who are always discounted from public view, attract academic attention. Many scholars have begun to take stock of these forgotten groups in many areas of concern. This study focuses solely on the experiences of caregivers of PLWHAs in Malaysian society. These include their sources of support, nature of networks and relationships and problems in connecting themselves to the Internet. The interest arises from the awareness that those who suffer from stigma and are motivated to change for the better cannot succeed for lack of proper support systems and healthy relationships. This ethnographic qualitative study involved 27 participants (N27), both offline and online, comprising parental, spouse, filial, friend and partner caregivers; and utilizes the strength of personal interviews, participant observation and group discussion. The ability of the Internet as a research tool is also tested through online interviews. Findings suggest that, other than the low quality of caregiving, caregivers make less effort to establish new networks and relationships when they foresee their support providers becoming less active in providing support. Caregivers are also struggling to maintain or to repair their existing networks and relationships with beneficial support providers, including families and friends. Families’ contributions in providing support are found to be lessening; some of them are regarded as sources of stigma and rejection. Therefore, friends with a similar background substitute for families as major support providers; under certain circumstances, professionals are found unable to give help. Despite their unpromising socio-economic background, caregivers have demonstrated sufficient skills to operate computers; thus they form a strong basis for the establishment of an E-support group, although they need more equal opportunities to allow better access to the Internet. Future strategies need to include caregivers, in order to allow them access to services in this capacity.

Item Type: Thesis (["eprint_fieldopt_thesis_type_phd" not defined])
Uncontrolled Keywords: HIV/AIDS, caregivers, People living with HIV/AIDS, Social support, Social relationship
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Faculty of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Zamri B Hj Hassan
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2015 04:05
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2015 04:05

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