In the March meeting, we discussed readings centring around the pandemic; or more accurately, readings on how the pandemic should be viewed. COVID From The Margins sought to empower those traditionally alienated from society, with the premise that problems which we would normally sweep under the rug becoming undeniable during a pandemic. Deborah Lupton explored historical perspectives on pandemics (focusing on pandemics or contagions from the 1970s onwards), primarily the sociocultural perspective. This sociocultural perspective allows for a decentring of the human in discourses around pandemics, particularly important in a zoonotic pandemic such as COVID-19. The sociocultural approach also allowed for a decentring of purely medical discourse around pandemics, enabling a focus on the other aspects of life which COVID-19 has undeniably had undeniably impacted. Essentially, these readings put forward alternative perspectives on the pandemic from the dominant discourse, promoting narratives which are inclusive of the lived experiences of people, rather than discourses grounded solely in the medical gaze.
Notes on the readings can be found here.