During this time of global crisis, we have decided to turn our attention to COVID-19, focussing specifically on the sociological responses/implications of the epidemic. Below are the readings we focus on each week. We aim to provide a space where diverse viewpoints are heard, and carry equal weight. We try to keep debate grounded in the material provided and usually chose the following readings according to the direction of discussion.
If would like to join please contact Ginny Russell. A longer reading list on the topic of coronavirus is also being compiled by various academics and people in the sector. The full list is available here:
Ferguson et al. (2020) Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID- 19 mortality and healthcare demand. Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team. BBC News article criticising Ferguson paper above on modelling: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51979654
Sadati A K, B Lankarani M H, Bagheri Lankarani K. (2020) Risk Society, Global Vulnerability and Fragile Resilience; Sociological View on the Coronavirus Outbreak, Shiraz E-Med J.
Social Contagion: Microbiological Class War in China. Chuăng
Hanage, W. (2020) I’m an epidemiologist. When I heard about Britain’s ‘herd immunity’ coronavirus plan, I thought it was satire. Guardian 15th March 2020
Johnstone, L. (2020) Why it’s healthy to be afraid in a crisis. Guardian 25th March 2020.
In response to: Daley, P. (2020) We face a pandemic of mental health disorders. Those who do it hardest need our support. Guardian 24th March.
Racism is the root cause of ethnic inequities during covid-19. Discover Society, 17th April 2020.
Taylor, K. (2020) The Black Plague. The New Yorker, 16th April 2020.
Caduff, C. (2020) What Went Wrong: Corona and the world after the full stop.
Nik Brown’s recent book Immunitary Life – please get in touch with Courtney if you would like access to this reading.
Greenhalgh et al (2020) Face masks for the public during the COVID-19 crisis.
Friedman (2020) Face masks are in: What the US can learn from East Asia about face masks. The Atlantic.
Independent SAGE Report 2. Should schools reopen? Interim findings and concerns.
Leonard (2016) The sociology of children, childhood and generation.
Jerreat (2020) ‘Coronavirus – the new scapegoat for media censorship, rights groups say‘
Williams (2020) ‘We often accuse the right of distorting science. But the left changed the coronavirus narrative overnight.’
Callard (2020) Very, very mild: Covid-19 symptoms and illness classification.
Greco (2012) The classification and nomenclature of ‘medically unexplained symptoms’: Conflict, performativity and critique
For those particularly interested in this topic, there are some optional extras:
- Yong (2020) COVID-19 can last for for several months
- Dumit (2006) Illnesses you have to fight to get: Facts as forces in uncertain, emergent illnesses
Mel Salm (2020) Anthropocene Diseased: A Provocation
Naomi Klein (2020) ‘We must not return to the pre-Covid status quo, only worse‘ The Guardian.
Gruber, J. et al. (2020) Mental Health and Clinical Psychological Science in the Time of COVID-19: Challenges, Opportunities, and a Call to Action. American Psychologist.
Rose, N. (2020) The social underpinnings of mental distress in the time of COVID-19 – time for urgent action. Wellcome Open Research.
This weeks discussion will be around different scientific responses to the covid-19 pandemic. In particular, we will be thinking about the following:
- The Great Barrington declaration which calls for community transmission and protection of the vulnerable (they call it focussed protection). This video shows scientists getting questioned on this view.
- The John Snow memorandum plus associated Lancet article which calls for short term lockdown/tighter restrictions, released in reaction to above.
- A critique of herd immunity from Nature, 21 October 2020.
- The Vulture hosts a list of celebrities that have tested positive for covid-19
- And an article on Covid-19 infections on international celebrities: self presentation and tweeting down pandemic awareness
- Those who would like further entertainment might like to watch the film “Masque of the Red Death” (1964) which is on the Box of Broadcasts TV streaming service that the library has a subscription to.
- COVID-19 infections on international celebrities: self-presentation and tweeting down pandemic awareness.
Hannah Arendt on social isolation/totalitarianism – Where loneliness can lead
‘Corona? 5G? or both?’: the dynamics of COVID-19/5G conspiracy theories on Facebook by Axel Bruns, Stephen Harrington, Edward Hurcombe
Kata A (2010) A postmodern Pandora’s box: anti-vaccination misinformation on the Internet. Vaccine. 28(7):1709–16.
Freeman D (2020) Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy in the UK: The Oxford Coronavirus explanations, attitudes, and narratives survey (oceans) II. Cambridge University Press.
The following readings are about long Covid.
- Bhopal S (2021) Rapid Response: Vaccinating children to prevent Long Covid? Much more caution needed in interpreting current epidemiological data.
- Bhopal S (2021) The elephant and the blind men: the children of long covid. Letter to the editor of the BMJ.
- Callard, F and Perego E (2021) How and why patients made long covid. Social Science & Medicine.
Additional resources about long Covid:
- Video about Wuhan in post-covid era
- And here is some interesting info about funding that’s been granted for studies of Long Covid: £18.5 million awarded to new research projects to understand and treat long COVID
The following readings are about the evolving use of language to describe COVID-19 over the last year, and the exacerbation of disadvantages (through the lens of gender).
- Lacy, Kelly and Jutel (2020) Fighting Words in the Antipodes.
- Connor, J. et al. (2020) Health risks and outcomes that disproportionately affect women during the Covid-19 pandemic: A review
This week’s theme are countries’ differing approaches and messaging on COVID responses.
- Ten, X. (2020) Pandemic and lockdown: a territorial approach to COVID-19 in China, Italy and the United States. Eurasian Geography and Economics.
- Social Science Space have published the following free book: Addressing the Psychology of ‘Together Apart’
- Promoting the welfare, protection and care of children during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic – Journal of Children’s Services
- Older people and COVID 19 – experiences and lessons for ageing – Quality in Ageing and Older Adult
- Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Adult Safeguarding in the time of COVID 19 – The Journal of Adult Protection
- Ageing in unusual times: the experience of older people and those who work with them in the time of COVID 19 – Working with Older People
- Professionalism in the Pandemic – Journal of Professional Capital and Community
- Digital libraries and COVID-19, Part 1 : responding to a global emergency – Digital Library Perspectives