We report new data from a survey of loneliness in Australia during the Covid-19 lockdowns of 2020–21, in order to identify those age groups most at risk of increased loneliness. Counter-intuitively, proportionately fewer elderly Australians experienced increased loneliness as a result of lockdowns, as compared with 44% of those aged 19–29 and 31% of those aged 40–49. To explain this pattern, we investigated how lockdowns disturbed the complex connections between types of place affordance and the age-specific cultural scripts that normally give rise to a sense of belonging. For younger age groups, such scripts demand their identification with future orientations and a sense of belonging tied to the more distant and wide-ranging places of career advance, meeting, play, and pleasure that lockdown inhibited. By contrast, older retired cohorts were more inclined to frame their sense of belonging in the past through the maintenance of community connections and closer place-bonds of their locality, cultural places of memory and return that they were more happily confined to during lockdowns. Refereed/Peer-reviewed
The COVID-19 crisis has generated an intensity of feeling globally, as people’s everyday spatial and embodied practices have been continually disrupted and fraught with anxiety and uncertainty. In this visual essay, I present and engage with smartphone photographs of public spaces in the Australian cities of Canberra and Sydney that I have accumulated as a ‘COVID Life’ archive. The photographs record my everyday experiences in and through spaces I inhabited and through which I moved. I have selected some of the images and provide a reflective analysis that draws on the concept of affective atmospheres to consider the sociomaterialities and spatialities evident in the images. I describe how the assemblages of people, things, place and space featured in these images generated a range of thoughts and feelings: both in the moment of capturing the images and in reviewing them at a later time as part of an archive of COVID memorialisation.
Abstract Since the pandemic broke out in 2020, China has widely presented the covid crisis in its mass media and actively constructed collective identity thereof to mobilize medical workers, unify political stances, boost domestic solidarity, and promote international support. This paper combines the Discourse-Historical Approach and a multimodal perspective to investigate how the Chinese state-run news agency People’s Daily discursively achieves these purposes on TikTok. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods is used to present the high-frequency topoi of justifying the crisis and referential and predicational strategies of shaping collective identity within, which can fall into four dimensions: positive Self, negative Self, negative Others, and positive Others. The linguistic resources can be intensified/mitigated by visual-aural ensembles, which can draw the audience’s attention and arouse their emotional attachments. This study also summarizes the embedded values in the discourses and situates them in socio-political contexts.
The COVID-19 pandemic has escalated processes of labour transition from industrial work to the informal economy, which have always characterized the life of the working poor. This paper explores this kind of reverse transition, that is, when the Lewisian dream of having an industrial job comes to an end, and workers are forced into a reverse migration. Specifically, the paper focuses on the post-industrial experiences of former Indian garment workers leaving the National Capital Region and moving back to Bihar. Emphasis is placed on workers’ reasons for leaving the industry and their current employment and reproductive strategies. Findings are based on a sample of 50 former workers, identified in urban industrial hamlets and traced back to their place of origin. Respondents’ experiences are analysed based on semi-quantitative questionnaires and life histories. Findings reveal that upon leaving the factory, workers find alternative informal employment through caste or social networks whilst using land as safety net. They suggest that farming and informal work are not alternative but rather complementary income and work strategies. By adopting a life-cycle approach to studying labour transitions across formal and informal employment domains, this analysis contributes to policy debates on decent work.