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Confronting the COVID-19 pandemic: grief, loss, and social order

Millar, Katharine M., Han, Yuna, Bayly, Martin J., Kuhn, Katharina and Morlino, Irene ORCID: 0000-0002-0555-8033 (2020) Confronting the COVID-19 pandemic: grief, loss, and social order. . London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of International Relations, London, UK.

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This research addresses the challenge the 2019- 2020 COVID-19 pandemic (COVID-19) presents to social order as a result of mass grieving and loss. It places a particular emphasis on the UK response and lessons that can be learnt for further ‘waves’. A tendency for research to look at technocratic policy responses has led to the overlooking of the social impact that pandemics produce. This study, in contrast, employs a qualitative, comparative methodology to examine four key cases – the UK, Italy, South Korea, and Germany – from 1 January to 31 July 2020, as well as the UK during the 1918-19 influenza epidemic – to examine the politics of COVID-9 as a mass death event. Our research finds that the narrative framing of the pandemic as a particular type of crisis; the ways that deaths have been recorded and managed; and the manner in which loss has been mourned and commemorated vary across cases. This variance, the research suggests, has implications for the ways that societies may respond, particularly in the medium- and longterm. Recommendations are made for governments responding to future ‘waves’ of the virus in relation to communicating loss to the public, and commemorating deaths in a manner that supports social cohesion and prepares the public for future crises.

Item Type: Monograph (Report)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2020 09:33
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2024 19:15

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