Pandemic Sociology

Engag Sci Technol Soc. 2020;6:347-350. doi: 10.17351/ests2020.523.


In 1990, the sociologist Phil Strong wrote about "epidemic psychology" as part of his research on the recent history of AIDS. Strong described vividly how epidemics of fear, of explanation and moralization, and of (proposed) action accompanied the epidemic of the AIDS virus per se. In this essay, I draw on these formulations to think through the current COVID-19 crisis, illustrating too a pandemic of inequality. In so doing, I provide a sketch of a pandemic sociology.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; expertise; pandemic; sociology of knowledge.