Global narratives on unequal outcomes produced by lockdown in Africa: A social science perspective on the “one-size-fits all” COVID-19 response - Laboratoire Population-Environnement-Développement Access content directly
Journal Articles Frontiers in Public Health Year : 2023

Global narratives on unequal outcomes produced by lockdown in Africa: A social science perspective on the “one-size-fits all” COVID-19 response

Abstract

Introduction Lockdown measures were introduced worldwide to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and several studies showed the positive impacts of these policies in places such as China and Europe. Many African governments also imposed lockdowns at the beginning of the pandemic. These lockdowns met with mixed reactions; some were positive, but others focused on concerns about the consequences of lockdowns. Methods In this article, we use social listening to examine social media narratives to investigate how people balanced concerns about preventing the spread of COVID-19 with other priorities. Analyzing social media conversations is one way of accessing different voices in real time, including those that often go unheard. As internet access grows and social media becomes more popular in Africa, it provides a different space for engagement, allowing people to connect with opinions outside of their own conceptual frameworks and disrupting hierarchies of how knowledge is shaped. Results This article indicates which narratives were favored by different organizations, stakeholders, and the general public, and which of these narratives are most dominant in policy discourses. The range of narratives is found to be reflective of the blindness to inequality and social difference of much decision-making by policymakers. Discussion Thus, contrary to the “we are all in this together” narrative, diseases and public health responses to them clearly discriminate, accentuating long-standing structural inequalities locally, nationally, and globally, as well as interplaying with multiple, dynamic, and negotiated sources of marginalization. These and other insights from this article could play a useful role in understanding and interpreting how social media could be included in pandemic preparedness plans.
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Dates and versions

hal-04050996 , version 1 (29-03-2023)

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Catherine Grant, Kelley Sams. Global narratives on unequal outcomes produced by lockdown in Africa: A social science perspective on the “one-size-fits all” COVID-19 response. Frontiers in Public Health, 2023, 11, 1046404 [n.p.]. ⟨10.3389/fpubh.2023.1046404⟩. ⟨hal-04050996⟩
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