Social Construction of a Pandemic. Medicalization of Social Life - Anxiety, Frustration and Ethical Risks

Antonio Sandu


The purpose of this paper is to analyze the social construction process of the Covid-19 pandemic from the perspective of the anxiety and frustration felt by the citizens as a threat to their own lives and health and to analyze the perceived severity of the Covid-19 infection during March-June 2020. The present research aims to understand the changes that society is going through in the context of the pandemic, to analyze the social construction elements of the pandemic and the infodemic, in the context of a public health crisis, and also to identify the social perception on the pandemic among the affected population.

Social anxiety can be understood: as a side effect of the process of social construction of the person's identity, thus being correlated with the cultural particularities of the social environment of origin, mainly related to the social distinctions between individualism and collectivism; as an instance for the social construction of the idea of pandemic; as a constructive instance for the medicalization of social life in the pandemic and post-pandemic period; as being socially constructed through the mechanisms of the interpretive adrift of the meaning of role performance.

The research was carried out between March and June 2020 and it was based on a qualitative methodology derived from Grounded Theory. Data collection was done through the technique of a semi-structured interview, applied online on a sample of 103 people, mostly in the N.E. Region of Romania using an opportunity sample based on the snowball method.


pandemics; social construction; anxiety; frustration.

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