The study of social representation systems: Relationships involving representations on Aging, AIDS and the Body
Past studies have pointed out that social representations on AIDS, aging and the body might be connected. The present paper reports an exploratory study that aims at characterizing their relationships. The sample was composed of 1118 secondary school and university undergraduate students, who completed a questionnaire about one of the three objects. The main task was to choose 3 of 12 words extracted from the literature that were more strongly related with the object in question, and then justify their choices. Data analysis consisted of descriptive statistics, correspondence analysis and typical vocabulary analysis. The results from correspondence analysis suggested that the representations on AIDS and the body are associated with the element young, whereas the representations on the body and old age intersect on elements 'health' and 'life'. It is concluded that there is empirical evidence of interaction zones involving the mentioned representations, and the reference to thêmata and recent developments from the structural approach might provide the guidelines to the underlying logic of a representational system.