The COVID-19 Contagion-Pandemic Dyad: A View from Social Sciences

Carlos Miguel Ferreira, Maria Jose Sa, Jose Garrucho Martins, Sandro Serpa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
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The objective of this concept paper focuses on the relevance of the analytical potential of Social Sciences for understanding the multiple implications and challenges posed by the COVID-19 contagion–pandemic dyad. This pandemic is generating a global threat with a high number of deaths and infected individuals, triggering enormous pressure on health systems. Most countries have put in place a set of procedures based on social distancing, as well as (preventive) isolation from possible infected and transmitters of the disease. This crisis has profound implications and raises issues for which the contribution of Social Sciences does not seem to be sufficiently mobilised. The contribution of Social Sciences is paramount, in terms of their knowledge and skills, to the knowledge of these problematic realities and to act in an informed way on these crises. Social Sciences are a scientific project focused on interdisciplinarity, theoretical and methodological plurality. This discussion is developed from the systems of relationships between social phenomena in the coordinates of time and place, and in the socio-historical contexts in which they are integrated. A pandemic is a complex phenomenon as it is always a point of articulation between natural and social determinations. The space of the discourse on the COVID-19 pandemic can be understood as the expression of a coalition of discourses, i.e., the interaction of various discourses, combined in re-interpretative modalities of certain realities and social phenomena. The circumstantial coalitions of interests, which shape the different discursive records and actions produced by different agents of distinct social spaces, enable the acknowledgement and legitimation of this pandemic threat and danger, and the promotion of its public management
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
Issue number77
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Social sciences
  • Inequality
  • Pandemic
  • Contagion
  • Social distancing


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