In this together? No, holding a mirror to our societies’ problems

One of the buzzwords frequently heard concerning the coronavirus pandemic is that we are ‘all in this together’. This ignores vastly experiences on grounds of gender, class, ethnicity, age and other social structural factors. It also fails to recognise the vastly different experiences of different parts of the world. An interesting account of someone returning home to China from studying at Cambridge in the UK has just been published in the University World News. Among other interesting comments, its author, Jingwen Alice Fan, suggests,

“Like many people, I used to be anxious and paranoid whenever I read bad news about COVID-19. But I soon found the pandemic was actually a great learning opportunity. COVID-19 is like a mirror. It reflects a society’s problems. It is painful to see all the hidden problems in our societies uncovered, but it is only through doing so that we can confront them and try to make our societies better. 

The experience has also taught me that we should be cautious about being manipulated by the media. Critical thinking is the key. A healthy society needs different voices. This applies to every single country, but also to the international context.”

For the entire article, go here.

Published by

Liz Stanley

Liz Stanley is Professor of Sociology @ University of Edinburgh, email liz.stanley@ed.ac.uk. I’m a feminist sociologist who works on everyday documents of life, particularly letters, to research social change over time.

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