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'I Know Who Caused COVID-19': Pandemics and Xenophobia
Zhou Xun and Sander L. Gilman
Reaktion Books / Softcover / Sep 2021
9781789145076 (ISBN-10: 1789145074)
price: $30.50 (may be subject to change)
256 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 7-10 business days

A timely exploration of the global explosion in xenophobia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through a close analysis of four cases from around the world, this book explores prejudice toward groups who are thought to have caused and spread COVID-19: the residents of Wuhan and Black African communities in China; ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in the United States, United Kingdom, and Israel; African-Americans in the United States and Black/Asian/mixed ethnic communities in the United Kingdom; and White right-wing groups in the United States and Europe. The authors examine stereotyping and the false attribution of blame towards these groups, as well as what happens when a collective is actually at fault, and how the community deals with these conflicting issues.

This is a timely, cogent examination of the blame and xenophobia that have been brought to the surface by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While still in the midst of a public health crisis, we are fortunate to have two scholars who expertly weave their way through the infectious and symbolic threats that have roiled us all. Mass death and moral panics, scapegoating and the weaponization of past victimhood, examples like SARS, Ebola, and AIDS, communal dynamics around race and religion: all these and more have been scrambled in the great distress of this plague. Through their nuanced analyses, Gilman and Zhou allow us to reconsider these matters and the forces that have distorted and upended attempts to respond to a global pandemic as just that.”

George Makari, director of the DeWitt Wallace Institute of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medicine, and author of "Of Fear and Strangers: A History of Xenophobia"

Xun Zhou is a research fellow at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

Sander L. Gilman is Distinguished Professor of the Arts and Sciences at Emory University. He is the author or editor of over sixty books, including Jurek Becker: A Life in Five Worlds, Health and Illness: Images of Difference, and Smoke: A Global History of Smoking.

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