Dramas of Catastrophes: American and Chinese Governments’ Cultural Response to the COVID-19 Crisis
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | ONLINE ONLY (VIA ZOOM) | REGISTRATION REQUIRED
Associate Professor of Sociology at Emory University
Professor and Director of China Center for Social Policy
In an ongoing project, Dr. Xu (bio) examines the American and Chinese governments’ cultural responses to the COVID-19 crisis. “Cultural response,” defined as the governments’ symbolic action to address their citizens’ suffering and death in disasters, is often neglected by scholars and dismissed by public opinion as secondary and insignificant. But Xu argues that governments must win people’s hearts and minds through sympathetic, meaningful words and actions about their reactions, accountability, and visions, in addition to their supplies, funds, and managerial actions. Drawing on the dramaturgical approach and a comparative study, Xu shows how the two governments’ cultural responses have been shaped by their different types of regime, political structures, and particular situations. Xu also intends to develop and extend the dramaturgical approach to disaster management, a topic that has been studied mostly from the managerial and practical perspective in the mainstream paradigm.
This event, co-sponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, is part of a series entitled “COVID-19 Impacts and Responses in China and Beyond.” Please see the registration page for more details.