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The Diamond Princess Cruise ship in the port of Daikoku, Japan, in February 2020 (Photo by Carl Court, Getty Images).

Cal Biruk publishes article in Anthropology & Medicine

'COVID containers' in pandemic mediascapes: discursive economies of health, bodies, and race in North America

Feb 23, 2022

This article critically examines three media artifacts (what I term 'COVID containers') that were prominent in COVID-19 discourse and representation in 2020--the household, the cruise ship, and the 'body-with-underlying-conditions'. Employing media ethnography, I show how logics of inside/outside, safety/risk, and comfort/fear that animate efforts to contain a viral threat intensify the pathologization, harm, and surveillance of groups long imagined as 'threats' to the social order.