Interview with Sarah, 20, White British, working class. Women, Risk and Aids Project, Manchester, 1989. Anonymised version (Ref: MUR07)
datasetposted on 04.03.2020, 11:13 by Rachel ThomsonRachel Thomson
This interview is part of the Women, Risk and Aids Project (1989-90) archive which was created as part of the Reanimating Data Project (2018-20).
Anonymised transcript of an interview with a young woman (Sarah), aged 20, living in Manchester but originally from Glasgow. Described herself as working class. Her mother was Scottish, a psychologist, but passed away (cancer) when she was 14. Her father left when she was 4, and is now remarried with 2 children (a boy and a girl, age 15 and 13). She was much closer to her mother, who she could talk to about her body, her rights, responsibilities, relationships. Moved out at 17 after working part-time and supporting stepmother in the home. Little family support academically/aspirationally, but did do Open University course and hopes to go to university as a mature student. She set up a women's group at her old school for 14-16yr olds from working class backgrounds, and appears very politically and socially aware. A lot of females in her peer group are now mothers, largely, she thinks, as a route out of the home in a culture where (female) education and ambition was 'frowned upon', reserved for the middle class. Moved to South Manchester at 18 and noted a huge social and aspirational divide between South and North Manchester - South more cosmopolitan. Sex education she received in high school was deemed poor and 'completely scientific'. Found public (sexual) health campaigns for AIDS and herpes fear-mongering, 'Victorian', ideological. First sexual experience was with another female at 13/14, and with a male was 16. Was already using the pill (to lighten her periods), but also used condoms. Very focused on and open about women's right to sexual pleasure, but recognised contradictions or difficulties between expectation and practice.
FamiliesFamily lifeBereavementPolitical issuesPolitical awarenessWomen's movement/FeminismSex educationAIDS diseasePregnancySexual reputationWomen's employmentSexual healthPublic healthRelationshipsSame-Sex relationshipsBirth ControlCondom UsePillSexually Transmitted DiseasesFirst sexSexual pleasureRiskSexual expectationsHomophobiaVictim blamingAspirationIllegal drugsWomen's magazinesClass consciousnessPart-time employmentWhite BritishWorking classNo religion