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Lecture: Social Death in 2020: which lives matter and which deaths count?

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Social Death in 2020: Covid-19, which lives matter and which deaths count?

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Talk by Dr Jana Králová (Edinburgh Napier University)

Abstract

This analysis aims to demonstrate the considerable analytical power of social death theory to justify the inclusion of social causes of death into official measures of mortality. The UK’s governmental and social policy in/actions during the Covid-19 pandemic are imposing social death on the most vulnerable. People are dying because of social causes of death, that is social death. This may, or may not, be accompanied by the Covid-19. The extensive analytical capability of social death theory is evidenced in three major schools of thought: slavery, death studies, and genocide. Together with their exceptions, they move beyond established sociological categories to challenge the conceptual robustness of the OECD’s ‘preventable mortality’, which can be avoided through public health prevention. Furthermore, the use of the International Classification of Disease (ICD) for classifying causes of death is called into question due to its lack of capacity to encompass social realities of death and dying. This raises the broader question of how mortality is measured. Analysis of social death imposed on Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) people and care home residents during the Covid-19 pandemic reveals social causes of death. Consequently, urgent governmental action is required to prevent social causes of death along with inclusion of social death into measures of mortality.

This talk will be held on Zoom and will be followed by an inclusive discussion. It is the third talk in the Pandemic Perspectives Autumn Seminar series 2021-22. For more information about this series and the Pandemic Perspectives group, please visit our website: https://pandemic-perspectives-uk.com/ and our Twitter @Pandemic_Persp

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Organiser Pandemic Perspectives

Organiser of Lecture: Social Death in 2020: which lives matter and which deaths count?

Pandemic Perspectives is a community of doctoral researchers founded with the aim of integrating the specialisms from a wide range of fields to interpret and analyse the unique significance of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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