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Crisis-ready responsible selves: national productions of the pandemic

Orgad, Shani and Hegde, Radha (2022) Crisis-ready responsible selves: national productions of the pandemic. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 25 (3-4). 287 - 308. ISSN 1460-356X

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Identification Number: 10.1177/13678779211066328


National governments have played a key role in constructing the Covid-19 pandemic through their communications. Drawing on thematic, discursive and visual analyses of Covid-19 campaigns from 12 national contexts, we show how the pandemic has presented governments with unique conditions for articulating and reinforcing nationalism and neoliberalism. The campaigns frame the pandemic as a force that brings the nation together and conjure up notions of national ‘solidarity lite’ while relentlessly authorizing the crisis-ready responsible citizen. In so doing, they reproduce neoliberal rationality by shifting the locus of responsibility from the state and social structures to the individual and re-inscribing gendered and classed notions of responsibility, care and citizenship. Mobilizing national neoliberal narratives enables governments to render the pandemic legible as a crisis while obscuring both the structural injustices that exacerbate the crisis and the structural changes required to address it.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Media and Communications
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
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2021 12:03
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2024 21:30

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