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Nostalgia and the Corona Pandemic: A Tranquil Feeling in a Fearful World

aLe Moyne College, USA
bAalborg University, Denmark
cUniversity of Minnesota Duluth, USA

The Emerald Handbook of the Sociology of Emotions for a Post-Pandemic World

ISBN: 978-1-80382-324-9, eISBN: 978-1-80382-323-2

Publication date: 14 April 2023


The utterly un-nostalgic person is probably a non-existent being. At both a personal and collective level, we explore how nostalgia is experienced and in demand during times of transition, disjuncture, conflict and uncertainty. This chapter explores the emotion of nostalgia and connects it specifically to the current corona pandemic – the challenges of lockdowns and social distancing measures on interaction, feelings of loneliness and a generalised sense of uncertainty and despair, and also a rise of nostalgia as a possible response to these challenges. The predominant view of nostalgia put forth in this chapter is that nostalgia has the capacity to provide a great deal of benefit (meaning, hope, direction and purpose) to individuals, groups, institutions and societies at large. Indeed, nostalgia can be a tranquil feeling in a fearful world. We relate nostalgia to studies and experiences from the pandemic period and speculate on how the so-called ‘corona crisis’ may impact feelings of nostalgia in the post-pandemic world – perhaps even a nostalgia and longing for the pandemic period itself.

If the corona pandemic has in fact sparked a new (or renewed) interest in nostalgia in contemporary society due to the corona pandemic, it may indeed prove to be a positive thing, particularly if it makes it easier for people to deal with current feelings of adversity and anxiety. We suggest the nostalgia mood that is generated and perpetuated by the continuing twists and turns of the corona pandemic may – in the short and long run – prove useful in coping with and giving meaning to the problems and perplexing circumstances of life, rather than being a regressive phenomenon. Perhaps, something good may, in the end, grow from something bad?



Batcho, K.I., Jacobsen, M.H. and Wilson, J.L. (2023), "Nostalgia and the Corona Pandemic: A Tranquil Feeling in a Fearful World", Ward, P.R. and Foley, K. (Ed.) The Emerald Handbook of the Sociology of Emotions for a Post-Pandemic World, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 67-89.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023 Krystine I. Batcho, Michael Hviid Jacobsen and Janelle L. Wilson. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited