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Sociocultural, behavioural and political factors shaping the COVID-19 pandemic: the need for a biocultural approach to understanding pandemics and (re)emerging pathogens

Abstract : Although there has been increasing focus in recent years on interdisciplinary approaches to health and disease, and in particular the dimension of social inequalities in epidemics, infectious diseases have been much less focused on. This is especially true in the area of cultural dynamics and their effects on pathogen behaviours, although there is evidence to suggest that this relationship is central to shaping our interactions with infectious disease agents on a variety of levels. This paper makes a case for a biocultural approach to pandemics such as COVID-19. It then uses this biocultural framework to examine the anthropogenic dynamics that influenced and continue to shape the COVID-19 pandemic, both during its initial phase and during critical intersections of the pandemic. Through this understanding of biocultural interactions between people, animals and pathogens, a broader societal and political dimension is drawn as a function of population level and international cultures, to reflect on the culturally mediated differential burden of the pandemic. Ultimately, it is argued that a biocultural perspective on infectious disease pandemics will allow for critical reflection on how culture shapes our behaviours at all levels, and how the effects of these behaviours are ultimately foundational to pathogen ecology and evolution. © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 23, 2022 - 3:59:09 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 24, 2022 - 11:17:27 AM

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Anna Friedler. Sociocultural, behavioural and political factors shaping the COVID-19 pandemic: the need for a biocultural approach to understanding pandemics and (re)emerging pathogens. Global Public Health, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2021, 16 (1), pp.17-35. ⟨10.1080/17441692.2020.1828982⟩. ⟨hal-03703078⟩

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