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Heal04


Defying pandemic regulations - the online strategies and poietics of opposing rules 
Convenors:
Adrian Stoicescu (University of Bucharest)
Dan Mercea (City, University of London)
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Stream:
Health and Medicine
Format:
Panel
Sessions:
Thursday 24 June, 14:00-15:45 (UTC+3)

Short Abstract:

Pandemic-skeptics devised various strategies of both avoiding and making others believe that the existence of the virus is an authority induced hoax. We invite specialist to look at who the actors were, why they were vocal and how they tried to make people bend rules.

Long Abstract

The COVID-19-triggered lockdown all over the world enabled people to reconsider their relations with both other people and with the authority exercising visibly their coercive capacities. From introducing curfews to limitations of movement, from the closing of typically crowded places to imposing individual sanitary rules or mandatory hospital admittance for asymptomatic patients, all these new rules created grounds for acts of rebellious behaviours both online and offline. Conversely, the authorities in other states played the card of less constraints opposing isolation to public immunisation as a strategy to fight against the pandemic.

We welcome specialists from various fields to analyse the online frames and strategies of disobeying the new rules by looking at:

- the actors who become the flag-ships of rule breaking instigation (e.g., previous voices in the discourse against other forms of rejection of biopower, like 'anti-vaxers', opposition politicians who defy the rules for political advantages, religious figures, etc)

- the arguments on which the rejection of the new rules and of medical evidence are based, be it pseudoscience or post-factual evidence

- to what extent individual acts of contestation were followed or refuted by other participants in the pandemic debate

- the poietics of rule-breaking (how such discourse is made by e.g. hate speech, exclusionary discourse practices, humour, irony etc.

Accepted papers: