Special Issue "Narratives of Resistance in Everyday Lives and the Covid Crisis"

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 March 2022) | Viewed by 3443

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Molly Andrews
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Political Psychology and Association for Narrative Research and Practice, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK
Interests: political narratives; the psychological basis of political commitment; political identity; patriotism and aging
Dr. Kesi Mahendran
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Psychology and Counselling, The Open University, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK
Interests: migration; mobility; citizenship; public dialogue; European Union
Prof. Dr. Paul Nesbitt-Larking
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Political Science, Huron University, London, ON N6G 1H3, Canada
Interests: political identities; politics and the media; canadian politics; comparative politics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This special issue explores from a range of perspectives the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on political resistance.  While the pandemic has clearly limited the extent to which people have been able to congregate, at the same time political protests across a range of issues have flourished around the world.  When the pandemic first broke out, many people wondered if political activism would come to take new forms; given the necessity to be socially distant, would solidarity and support for political causes be manifested in ways which did not require physical proximity? This special issue also looks at the use of narrative research as a particularly effective tool for investigating the many layers resistance within the ‘pandemic story.’  COVID-19 has both uncovered and covered up profound inequalities across the world; even while some world leaders and royalty caught COVID, it became increasingly difficult to support the claim ‘we are all in this together.’  In many cases, COVID has intensified hidden inequalities, highlighting problems of housing, domestic violence, refugee precarity, mental health problems particularly amongst youth, poorer health conditions of BAME population, and more.  The pandemic as it has raged on and on, has also exacerbated inequalities between the Global North and the Global South, with inequitable resources to fight the pandemic, including most visibly the roll-out of vaccines. All the while, despite what might seem like insurmountable and intersecting challenges, people have found ways to express their political resistance, as documented in the articles in this special issue.

Prof. Dr. Molly Andrews
Dr. Kesi Mahendran
Prof. Dr. Paul Nesbitt-Larking
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Keywords

  • political narratives
  • political protest
  • everyday life
  • pandemic storytelling

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Foreword: Narrative Convictions in “Revolting” Times
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 355; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080355 - 09 Aug 2022
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Abstract
Convictions: (1)strongly held beliefs, firmly felt and enacted(2)consequence of being criminalized [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Narratives of Resistance in Everyday Lives and the Covid Crisis)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Article
Narrating Resistant Citizenships through Two Pandemics
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 358; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080358 - 10 Aug 2022
Viewed by 439
Abstract
Covid has intensified inequalities in the UK, particularly for those already living with structural disadvantage, and despite community and popular resistance to those losses. Covid has also disproportionately affected people with HIV, especially those already living with multi-dimensional inequalities. However, many people with [...] Read more.
Covid has intensified inequalities in the UK, particularly for those already living with structural disadvantage, and despite community and popular resistance to those losses. Covid has also disproportionately affected people with HIV, especially those already living with multi-dimensional inequalities. However, many people with HIV have, as they have done before, made strong and often successful efforts to resist and to restore or reconstruct their citizenships, in opposition to dominant, dispossessing discourses during Covid times. A narrative approach offers a means of mapping these citizenly technologies. This article draws on a 2020 study conducted with 16 people living with HIV in the UK. The study explored, through telephone semi-structured interviews, the health, economic, and psychosocial resources with which these participants lived with HIV and how Covid has impacted those resources. Narrative analysis showed losses of HIV and other health resources, constituting reductions in health citizenship, resisted largely by reconstitutions of alternatives within the HIV sector; losses of economic citizenship, despite oppositional, anti-political attempts to retain it, and of psychosocial citizenship, in spite of family and friendship networks; resistant, ‘alter’ development of renewed HIV citizenships; and across fields, resistance by complaint. This study indicates that ‘de-citizening’ citizenship losses are likely to also affect other groups with long-term conditions, illnesses, and disabilities. Resistant ‘re-citizening’ technologies, while important, had limited effects. The study suggests potential future resistant effects of repeated ‘complaint’ about Covid-era citizenship losses, and the more general significance of histories of dissent for future effective resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Narratives of Resistance in Everyday Lives and the Covid Crisis)
Article
Imagining the Post-COVID-19 Polity: Narratives of Possible Futures
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080346 - 05 Aug 2022
Viewed by 553
Abstract
The COVID-19 crisis is arguably the most important development of the 21st century so far and takes its place alongside the great eruptions of the past century. As with any crisis, the current pandemic has stimulated visions and proposals for post-COVID-19 societies. Our [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 crisis is arguably the most important development of the 21st century so far and takes its place alongside the great eruptions of the past century. As with any crisis, the current pandemic has stimulated visions and proposals for post-COVID-19 societies. Our focus is on narratives—both predictive and prescriptive—that envisage post-COVID-19 political societies. Combining narrative analysis with thematic analysis, we argue that societal changes conditioned by the pandemic have accelerated a turn toward five inter-related developments: A renaissance in rationality and evidence-based science; a return to social equality and equity, including wage equity and guaranteed incomes; a reimagining of the interventionist state in response to crises in the economy, society, the welfare state, and social order; a reorientation to the local and communitarian, with reference in particular to solidaristic mutual aid, community animation, local sourcing, and craft production; and the reinvention of democracy through deep participation and deliberative dialogical decision making. The empirical focus of our work is an analysis of predominantly legacy media content from the Canadian Periodicals Index related to life after the pandemic and post-COVID-19 society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Narratives of Resistance in Everyday Lives and the Covid Crisis)
Article
‘Live with the Virus’ Narrative and Pandemic Amnesia in the Governance of COVID-19
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080340 - 01 Aug 2022
Viewed by 657
Abstract
Political leaders have commonly used the phrase ‘learn to live with the virus’ to explain to citizens how they should respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. I consider how the ‘live with the virus’ narrative perpetrates pandemic amnesia by refusing what is known about [...] Read more.
Political leaders have commonly used the phrase ‘learn to live with the virus’ to explain to citizens how they should respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. I consider how the ‘live with the virus’ narrative perpetrates pandemic amnesia by refusing what is known about pandemic-related inequities and the strategies that can be used to overcome these effects. Advice to ‘live with the virus’ helps to further austerity public policy and therefore individualises the social and health burdens of post pandemic life. ‘Live with the virus’ asks citizens to look only to their own futures, which are political strategies that might work for privileged individuals who have the capacity to protect their health, but less well for those with limited personal resources. I draw on Esposito’s framing of affirmative biopolitics and scholarship on how excluded communities have built for themselves health-sustaining commons in responses to pandemic threats to health. I argue that creating opportunities for a ‘COVID-19 commons’ that can enlarge capacity for citizenly deliberation on how they have been governed and other pandemic related matters is vital for the development of more ethical and equitable post-pandemic politics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Narratives of Resistance in Everyday Lives and the Covid Crisis)
Article
Learning to Resist and Resisting Learning
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(7), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11070277 - 27 Jun 2022
Viewed by 617
Abstract
The COVID crisis has disrupted routine patterns and practices across all spheres of everyday life, rupturing social relations and destabilising our capacity for building coherent selves and communities by recollecting the past and imagining potential futures. Education is a key domain in which [...] Read more.
The COVID crisis has disrupted routine patterns and practices across all spheres of everyday life, rupturing social relations and destabilising our capacity for building coherent selves and communities by recollecting the past and imagining potential futures. Education is a key domain in which these hopes for the future have been dashed for many young people and in which commitments to critical scholarship and pedagogies are being contested. In a world of stark socioeconomic inequality, racism, and other forms of dehumanising othering, the pandemic serves not to disrupt narratives of meritocracy and progress but to expose them as the myths they have always been. This paper will explore forms of political resistance and the (im)possibilities for experimental pedagogies in response to the broken promises and unrealised dreams of (higher) education in the context of the COVID crisis. Reflecting on my own everyday life as a scholar and educator in a South African university, and in dialogue with students’ narratives of experience, I will examine the ways in which the experience of the pandemic has released and mobilised new forms of resistance to historical institutional and pedagogical practices. However, these hopeful threads of alternative narratives are fragile, improvised in the weighty conditions of a status quo resistant to change, and in which the alienation and inequality of the terrain are being exacerbated and deepened through a proliferation of bureaucratic and technicist solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Narratives of Resistance in Everyday Lives and the Covid Crisis)
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