Surfacing, intensifying and accelerating: how COVID-19 changed social relations in Quanzhou, China
AffiliationSchool of Geography
Document TypeMasters Coursework thesis
Access StatusOnly available to University of Melbourne staff and students, login required
© 2020 Bin Wang
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a variety of social, political and economic changes at the global scale. In examining the changing social relations under the influence of the pandemic, this thesis reports the findings of an empirical investigation undertaken in Quanzhou, China. While COVID-19 is considered an overwhelming crisis that created a series of disruptions in people’s everyday lives, it is shown here that the pandemic has influenced the ways people interact with others in a more complex and ambiguous manner. Changes include conflicts occurred to parent-child relationships and spousal relationships in private spaces, as well as othering and digitisation of urban life in public spaces. By examining the observed changes, this thesis demonstrates that rather than being the source of changes, COVID-19 and the resulting policies have played a critical role in surfacing, intensifying and accelerating existing process of change in people’s social relations in the private and public spheres of Quanzhou. It is also evident that through these influences, the pandemic has the potential to facilitate a ‘bounce forward’ from society’s former equilibrium to a new state.
Keywordssocial relations; COVID-19
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