Cluster II - Challenging Inequalities in the Post-COVID World: Mobilization, Agency and Belonging
- Identify how inequalities have been reinforced and challenged;
- Map how (de-) mobilization evolved during and after the pandemic;
- Examine a variety of interventions to reduce vulnerability, increase agency and mobilize communities to access social and political rights.
The COVID-19 crisis prompted the worldwide reconfiguration of inequalities. On the one hand it reinforced existing parameters of ethnicity, class, migratory status, gender and age. On the other hand, the pandemic overlaid these injustices with new dimensions of inequality concerning health and safety, mobility, education, vaccination access and interpersonal and communal violence. This ongoing reconfiguration of inequalities has not been without responses from those affected. However, coping strategies have varied substantially based on parameters of individual or collective; more or less formalized; and national or international.
Such complexity necessitates in-depth, ethnographic research, a participatory action methodology and micro-level case studies. The international and intercontinental scale of this research provides a unique opportunity for a cross-country comparison to find out, assess and disseminate the different lessons of resilience taught by the underprivileged as well as the barriers to coping mechanisms.
- Reproduction of Inequalities for Essential Workers in a variety of sectors. Within this group of workers, in several countries the focus will be on migrant workers who are among the most disadvantaged, while in other countries the focus may be on indigenous people or racial and ethnic minorities. Gender is also an important component of this study as some essential workers (e.g. care workers) are often highly feminized.
- Elderly and Youth Before and After Crisis (Global North and Global South Comparison): The pandemic created particular challenges for youth and elderly. Young people faced interrupted education and decreased mobility accompanied by low risk of serious disease, while the elderly lost their social ties as they became isolated because of their increased risk of illness. This case study examines how these two groups were affected by crisis outcomes and governance and how resilience has been fostered.
- Transatlantic Comparisons of Solidarity & Resistance Movements: Here we focus on 2 comparisons of solidarity movements that emerged during the pandemic.
i. Poland - US: This comparison will examine protests surrounding anti-abortion legislation in Poland and BLM and anti-mask protests in the U.S.
ii. Brazil-Colombia-UK: This comparison will focus on low income communities in major Brazilian cities (such as Paraisópolis, Maré) as well as in indigenous and quilombola communities in the Amazon and in quilombola communities in the state of São Paulo; alternative forms of activism that emerged during the national strike in 2021 in Colombia involving young women and textile narratives at the neighborhood level; and protests following the death of Sarah Everard in the UK.
- Academic workshop leading to a special issue/edited volume.
Team members working in Cluster II
Mihai Varga (Co-Leader)
Mateusz Karolak (Co-Leader)