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- Author or Editor: Michael Stevens x
This piece is written as an autoethnographic memoir and study of how it has been and is to live as an HIV-positive gay man from Aotearoa New Zealand across a time of great cultural change. It is a reflection through a sociological and historical lens of how the personal side of my life as a gay man intersects with wider cultural, political and health-related themes.
This chapter draws on 15 years work in which the authors have been pursuing an empirical rendering of the social, legal, and cultural dynamics of doing work on the frontlines of public service and the implications of our findings for a democratic polity. This work looks beyond the ‘state-agent’ or implementation-control-discretion narrative that is ingrained in much research focusing on policy variation. Here, the rendering of an alternative to ‘discretion’ is deepened by squaring grounded discoveries of frontline work with theorizing about culture, agency, and structure. With a theoretical framing of the worker as agent in hand, the chapter draws upon current fieldwork to offer a second alternative, a normative one, that pushes against attention to policy fidelity, and encourages focus on the conditions whereby frontline work produces both local equities and inequities.