Limit your body area -a COVID-19 mass radicalisation challenging autonomy and basic human rights
International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare
Article publication date: 8 February 2021
Issue publication date: 22 July 2021
This paper aims to explore articulations of how individuals internalise official demands on handling COVID-19 and the function of social media in this process, and further to discuss this from a human rights’ perspective.
A thematic analysis of qualitative data from an international survey on COVID-19 and social media. The analysis was inspired by Berger and Luckmann's theory of reality as a social construction.
Articulations expressed an instant internalisation and externalisation of the officially defined “new normal”. However, negotiations of this “new normal” were articulated, whereby everyday life activities could proceed. Resistance to the “new normal” appeared, as routines and common sense understandings of everyday life were threatened. Health-care professionals were put in a paradoxical situation, living in accordance with the “new normal” outside work and legitimately deviating from it at work. The “new normal” calls for individuals’ “oughtonomy” rather than autonomy. Social media were used to push individual’s re-socialisation into the “new normal”. The latter both promoted and challenged human rights as the individual's right to self-determination extends beyond the self as it risks threatening other people's right to life.
With the means of a theoretically based thematic analysis inspired by Berger and Luckmann, the current study shows how articulations on COVID-19 and social media can both support and challenge human rights and reality as a facticity as dictated by dominant organisations and discourses in society.
Thanks to all participants in the study. Thank you to the translators, Ulrika von Arenstorff, Hege Aspen, Lavinia Giarré, Giulia Grillo Mikrut, Irene Recavarren, Sidsel-Marie Glasdam, Elizabeth Mary Pinto Ferreira, Janike Schanche, and Frederik Pahus Pedersen. Thank you for comments on the draft of the questionnaire, Karin Persson, Sebastian Pinto Bonnesen, and Martin Lindström. Thank you for patient and persistent technical support related to Sunet’s Survey & Report, Ola Stjärnhagen. Thank you for practical support related to Excel, Michael Lorenz.
Glasdam, S. and Stjernswärd, S. (2021), "Limit your body area -a COVID-19 mass radicalisation challenging autonomy and basic human rights", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 192-208. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-07-2020-0055
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