Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Infectious Narratives: US, China, and COVID-19


Schaeublin, Emanuel; Abatis, Katrina (2020). Infectious Narratives: US, China, and COVID-19. Zürich: ETH Zürich.

Abstract

Stories exert power by constructing one way of understanding the world and by effectively communicating that “reality” to others. Conflict actors understand this when they seek to define the terms in which a conflict takes place, representing themselves as morally sound and the other side as illegitimate. Building on the work of narrative mediator Sara Cobb, we analyze how the respective governments of the US and China have depicted the origins and the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic as the fault of the other side. In recent months, COVID-19 has become central to the US and China’s creation of “master narratives”. Master narratives hugely simplify the plot and characters, contain moral judgments, and form the basis for the generation and perpetuation of a conflict tale. This serves both governments in deflecting criticism away from their domestic responsibilities. Tensions have escalated between the two world powers as a result.

Abstract

Stories exert power by constructing one way of understanding the world and by effectively communicating that “reality” to others. Conflict actors understand this when they seek to define the terms in which a conflict takes place, representing themselves as morally sound and the other side as illegitimate. Building on the work of narrative mediator Sara Cobb, we analyze how the respective governments of the US and China have depicted the origins and the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic as the fault of the other side. In recent months, COVID-19 has become central to the US and China’s creation of “master narratives”. Master narratives hugely simplify the plot and characters, contain moral judgments, and form the basis for the generation and perpetuation of a conflict tale. This serves both governments in deflecting criticism away from their domestic responsibilities. Tensions have escalated between the two world powers as a result.

Statistics

Downloads

4 downloads since deposited on 05 Feb 2021
4 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Scientific Publication in Electronic Form
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:790 Sports, games & entertainment
390 Customs, etiquette & folklore
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:2020
Deposited On:05 Feb 2021 14:20
Last Modified:05 Feb 2021 14:20
Publisher:ETH Zürich
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:https://isnblog.ethz.ch/corona/infectious-narratives-us-china-and-covid-19

Download

Green Open Access

Download PDF  'Infectious Narratives: US, China, and COVID-19'.
Preview
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 290kB