York professor explains losing our sense of “in-this-together” during the pandemic


The show:

Think back to this time last year. There was a real sense that we were united in facing the pandemic. We responded as a community. Neighbours were helping each other. People were making face masks and giving them away. A micro-business was set up in Northumberland to produce Personal Protective Equipment for local healthcare workers. It was all done by volunteers. Except for a few minor exceptions, people were following the public health rules. We were all in this together.

Think about how you might feel today. The sense of social cohesion, that glue that binds us to each other, appears to be fading. Maybe it has disappeared. What happened?

In this interview, you will learn a new term: politically-produce precarity. It is a way politicians and other leaders, through their decisions and policies, create a sense of inequality among people. It creates fear, anxiety, and distress to a point where we are less likely to feel like a community. There is a sense of being left out or left behind as the pandemic continues to unfold.

Professor Yvonne Su will bring some insight into what is taking place. She teaches in the equity studies department at York University. She will talk about this idea of politically-produced precarity and how we went from experiencing togetherness to each person for themselves. Her article on politically-produced precarity can be found at The Conversation, an online publication at www.thconversation.com

Originally aired: May 14, 2021


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