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‘The ones who die are lost and the survivors are what we have’: neoliberal governmentality and the governance of Covid-19 risk in social media posts in Turkey

 Author: Selin Atalay  Category: Health, Risk & Society, Risk governance and governmentality  Publisher: Taylor & Francis Online  Year:: 2022  Lenguage: EN  Tags:Covid-19 | governmentality | homo-economicus | neoliberalism | risk | state–citizen relationship |  More
 Description:

Risk governance and governmentality

‘The ones who die are lost and the survivors are what we have’: neoliberal governmentality and the governance of Covid-19 risk in social media posts in Turkey

This study focuses on understanding and explaining the technologies that affect the governance of the risk of Covid-19 in Turkey. To assess how this risk is governed by individuals, the study focuses on discussions around this disease within a Turkish Facebook group. The aim is to understand how individuals conduct themselves and establish norms of conduct against the risk of illness that, in this case of an infectious disease, involves governing the self while managing others. The results show that the discourse created around the governance of infection risk is very much in line with notions of neoliberal governmentality, individual responsibility, citizens as consumers, and individuals as entrepreneurs. Governing the risk of Covid-19 is related to prevalent ways of prioritising or recognising economic explanations, and cost calculation and assessment of successful governance using quantifiable variables, such as the number of new cases and deaths. Concepts like herd immunity and natural selection are open to discussion. Individuals who believe that the government is primarily responsible for risk governance assert that they are paying taxes and advocate that, disciplinary measures should be taken by the government, whereas the opposing view states that individuals are responsible for the governance of Covid-19 risk. We interpret both these opposing views as illustrating neoliberal governmentality and representing contractual and familial state–citizen relationships.

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