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 23709

Special Issue Editors

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
Department of Political Science, Huron University, London, ON N6G 1H3, Canada
Interests: political identities; politics and the media; canadian politics; comparative politics
School of Psychology and Counselling, The Open University, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK
Interests: migration; mobility; citizenship; public dialogue; European Union

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
Prof. Dr. Paul Nesbitt-Larking
Prof. Dr. Kesi Mahendran
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.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

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

Published Papers (12 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research

8 pages, 224 KiB  
Editorial
Everyday Narratives of Resistance and Reconfigurations of Political Protest after the Pandemic—Editors’ Introduction
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(8), 427; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12080427 - 26 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1050
Abstract
Perhaps one of the most demanding challenges of the arrival of the COVID-19 crisis in early 2020 was the extent to which it arrived on top of a series of existing global crises [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Narratives of Resistance in Everyday Lives and the Covid Crisis)
8 pages, 224 KiB  
Editorial
Foreword: Narrative Convictions in “Revolting” Times
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 355; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080355 - 09 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1238
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

19 pages, 3818 KiB  
Article
Multilateralism under Fire: How Public Narratives of Multilateralism and Ideals of a Border-Free World Repudiate the Populist Re-Bordering Narrative
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(10), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12100566 - 10 Oct 2023
Viewed by 836
Abstract
How do global multilateral arrangements such as the United Nations (UN) and World Health Organization (WHO), vital to post-pandemic recovery, connect to the public understanding of multilateralism? The Citizen Worldview Mapping Project (CWMP) conducted in England, Scotland and Sweden examines how the degree [...] Read more.
How do global multilateral arrangements such as the United Nations (UN) and World Health Organization (WHO), vital to post-pandemic recovery, connect to the public understanding of multilateralism? The Citizen Worldview Mapping Project (CWMP) conducted in England, Scotland and Sweden examines how the degree of migration–mobility interacts with worldviews. CWMP asked participants (N = 24) to rule the world using an online interactive world mapping tool. Citizens were first interviewed on their migration–mobility, then invited to draw or remove borders on the world to manage human mobility. Citizens then engaged in a dialogue with António Guterres’ 2018 address to the United Nations General Assembly on multilateralism. Dialogical analysis showed how, when empowered to rule the world, the majority of participants, irrespective of the degree of migration–mobility, expressed an ideal of a border-free world, even if they then went on to construct borders around the world. We understand this as a democratic dialogical ideal of a border-free world. Participants articulated rich narratives and social representations of international relations, yet did not have a formal understanding of the reified concept of multilateralism. Bridging this gap between the consensual sphere of the public’s ideals based on social representations of cooperation and conflict and the reified sphere containing political narratives of multilateralism is a key step to longer-term post-pandemic recovery. A first step will be further studies into how an ideal of a border-free world can reconfigure political resistance to xenophobic populist re-bordering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Narratives of Resistance in Everyday Lives and the Covid Crisis)
Show Figures

Figure 1

23 pages, 1334 KiB  
Article
Narratives of Success and Failure in Ressentiment: Assuming Victimhood and Transmuting Frustration among Young Korean Men
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(5), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12050259 - 24 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1755
Abstract
In this article, we examine toxic masculinity, anti-feminist, anti-globalisation, and anti-military conscription positions in the narratives of what constitutes success and failure among young South Korean men during the COVID-19 pandemic. Misogynistic accounts attributed to the globalised effects of neoliberalism and its evolution [...] Read more.
In this article, we examine toxic masculinity, anti-feminist, anti-globalisation, and anti-military conscription positions in the narratives of what constitutes success and failure among young South Korean men during the COVID-19 pandemic. Misogynistic accounts attributed to the globalised effects of neoliberalism and its evolution through South Korean meritocratic competition, compounded by the social isolation of the pandemic, remain a puzzle psychologically, despite their toxic emotionality. We use the analytical framework of ressentiment to consolidate references to moral victimhood, indignation, a sense of destiny, powerlessness, and transvaluation, as components of a single emotional mechanism responsible for misogynistic accounts. In an empirical plausibility probe, we analyse qualitative surveys with young South Korean men and examine the content of the far-right social sharing site Ilbe (일베) which hosts conversations of young men about success and self-improvement. Our findings show envy, shame, and inefficacious anger transvaluated into to moral victimhood, misogynistic hatred, vindictiveness against women and feminists, and anti-globalisation stances. We discuss how the content of these narratives of success and failure in ressentiment relates to the electoral win of the right-wing People Power party in March 2022 which capitalised on anti-feminist grievances. We also consider the socio-political consequences of ressentiment narratives in the highly gendered and polarised South Korean society and expand the study of ressentiment outside the context of Western democracies where it has been most extensively elaborated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Narratives of Resistance in Everyday Lives and the Covid Crisis)
13 pages, 2846 KiB  
Article
Constructing Home through Unhome: Narratives of Resistance by an Iranian Asylum Seeker in Germany
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12010016 - 27 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1157
Abstract
The recent COVID-19 pandemic uncovered some already existing but somewhat hidden inequalities in different countries. Many features of inequalities that pre-existed the COVID-19 pandemic for a long time were uncovered due to this radical shift in living arrangements globally. This paper focuses on [...] Read more.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic uncovered some already existing but somewhat hidden inequalities in different countries. Many features of inequalities that pre-existed the COVID-19 pandemic for a long time were uncovered due to this radical shift in living arrangements globally. This paper focuses on one particular feature of these inequalities: housing situation of one Iranian asylum seeker in a heim (refugee accommodation) in Germany. Contributing to an understanding of how political resistance can be exercised through personal biographies, the paper differentiates between the notion of ‘unhome’ from home by discussing three factors: choice, anchor and the significant of others. The paper contributes to the growing scholarships around home in migration and its intersection with personal narratives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Narratives of Resistance in Everyday Lives and the Covid Crisis)
17 pages, 331 KiB  
Article
Enforcing and Resisting Hindutva: Popular Culture, the COVID-19 Crisis and Fantasy Narratives of Motherhood and Pseudoscience in India
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(12), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11120550 - 27 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2883
Abstract
This article analyzes how Hindu nationalists employ fantasy narratives to counteract resistance, with a particular focus on narratives of ‘motherhood’ and ‘pseudoscience’. It does so by first introducing a conceptual discussion of the relationship between fantasy narratives, ontological insecurity, gender, and anti-science as [...] Read more.
This article analyzes how Hindu nationalists employ fantasy narratives to counteract resistance, with a particular focus on narratives of ‘motherhood’ and ‘pseudoscience’. It does so by first introducing a conceptual discussion of the relationship between fantasy narratives, ontological insecurity, gender, and anti-science as a more general interrelationship characterizing pre- and post-COVID-19 far-right societies and leaders, such as India. It then moves on to discuss such fantasy narratives in the case of India by highlighting how this has played out in two cases of Hindu nationalist imaginings: that of popular culture, with a specific focus on the town Varanasi and the film Water (produced in 2000), and that of the COVID-19 pandemic and the emerging crisis and resistance that it has entailed. Extracts of interviews are included to illustrate this resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Narratives of Resistance in Everyday Lives and the Covid Crisis)
15 pages, 620 KiB  
Article
Building Consensus during Racially Divisive Times: Parents Speak Out about the Twin Pandemics of COVID-19 and Systemic Racism
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(10), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11100491 - 21 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1957
Abstract
This paper utilizes narrative inquiry to examine the effect of COVID-19 on political resistance, focusing on education as a key site. Based on survey and interview data the paper considers parents’ perspectives about the impacts of COVID-19 and racial inequalities in their children’s [...] Read more.
This paper utilizes narrative inquiry to examine the effect of COVID-19 on political resistance, focusing on education as a key site. Based on survey and interview data the paper considers parents’ perspectives about the impacts of COVID-19 and racial inequalities in their children’s schooling. Two narrative types are constructed and analyzed: consensus narratives and parenting narratives that refute an overarching, manufactured political narrative in the United States of “divisiveness” about race and education, while also identifying the layers and complexities of individual parents’ everyday lives raising and educating children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Narratives of Resistance in Everyday Lives and the Covid Crisis)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 273 KiB  
Article
(Re)inspiring Narratives of Resistance: COVID-19, Racisms and Narratives of Hope
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(10), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11100470 - 12 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2222
Abstract
In 2020, COVID-19 took many people by surprise, as did the intercontinental waves of protest triggered by the casual racist murder of George Floyd by a US policeman. The years of 2020 and 2021 will undoubtedly be remembered for massive, unexpected disruptions that [...] Read more.
In 2020, COVID-19 took many people by surprise, as did the intercontinental waves of protest triggered by the casual racist murder of George Floyd by a US policeman. The years of 2020 and 2021 will undoubtedly be remembered for massive, unexpected disruptions that require new social normalities to be negotiated. These social disruptions were triggered by unexpected viral pandemics and viral video footage. Yet they built on already existing, entrenched inequities marked by the intersections of racialisation/ethnicisation, social class and gender. It was common, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, for politicians and commentators to espouse a narrative that COVID-19 “does not discriminate”. This is, of course, true. However, the research analyses that followed showed that both COVID-19, and the measures taken to arrest it, exacerbated already existing social inequalities. This paper draws on two narratives of the racialized impact of COVID-19 to examine the ways in which the authors mobilise intertextual narratives to protest against racism and call for resistance to the racisms they identify. The paper argues that, while the authors do not overtly position themselves as calling for change, their narratives are crafted in ways that resist current constructions of their racialized or religious groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Narratives of Resistance in Everyday Lives and the Covid Crisis)
14 pages, 300 KiB  
Article
Narrating Resistant Citizenships through Two Pandemics
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 358; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080358 - 10 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1591
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)
19 pages, 323 KiB  
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
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1852
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)
13 pages, 296 KiB  
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
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3363
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)
18 pages, 2636 KiB  
Article
Learning to Resist and Resisting Learning
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(7), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11070277 - 27 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1415
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)
Back to TopTop