Comments on Interview with Dr. Erica Williams


The interview with Dr. Erica Williams was overall conducted in a passive tone/mood. Considering the topic of the book dealt with sexual matters in Brazil, I expected more action during the discussion. The questions made by my classmates and myself were challenging and provoking. However, the answers delivered by Dr. Williams somehow always avoided any controversy. She showed constant professionalism over the matter, but lacked some spice at the moment of stating an argument to support the questions we made. I found a lot of trouble reading the book because I found some testimonies and arguments a bit out of focus and even rude. I went into the class with the mentality to try to push the ideas she expressed in the book to the limit, in order to find a better understanding of her research. I even took the time to research some facts and data regarding sexual transmitted diseases and the sex culture in Brazil. I showed my understanding of the topic and made some strong arguments about my distinct point of view regarding the books matter. As a result, I felt she was feeling out of her comfort zone, which made me assume she was probably not expecting the quality of questions we were prepared to do. I also have to say I was very determined to counter argue her study because I am form South America, which influenced me to defend Latin people. One of the most impressive facts I found doing my research is that Brazil and the US both have the same HIV adult prevalence rate. Therefore, even though she labels Brazil as a developing country and uses the testimony of North American tourists to describe sex culture in Brazil, both countries deal with the same problem. Thus, this indicates that the US also has a problem with sexual activity. I wanted to get a grasp of her perspective on the US regarding the same issues she covered in her book regarding Brazil. Sadly, I did not get a concrete answer. Finally, even though she explained that she did not support the claims made by the people she interviewed, by considering the fact that she decided to include the type of comments Joe, made me think that she probably did not consider other perspectives, and managed to use Joe’s stories to go about her thesis.

By: Jose Antonio Ponce

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