Ayse Dursun, Verena Kettner & Birgit Sauer: Corona, Care, and Political Masculinity. Gender-Critical Perspectives on Governing the COVID-19 Pandemic in Austria. [Abstract]
The article departs from the contradiction that the importance of care for society was publicly acknowledged during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the pandemic response of the Austrian government did not challenge the structurally devalued status of care. In order to sustain the hegemonic patriarchal-capitalist governance of care and social reproduction in the pandemic government actors had to reframe care. We investigate government discourses that normalised its careless crisis management and interrogate the role political masculinity and affects played therein. Based on our analysis of a set of selected press conferences held in March 2020, we find that a new mode of rational-affective political masculinity was constitutive of the political management of COVID-19 crisis. With help of this hybrid mode of masculinity, political actors reinterpreted care first and foremost as healthcare and caring for the economy, and as caring for the population in terms of biopolitics. At the same time, caring tasks in the ‘private’ sphere were left to the personal responsibility of individuals and families. In order to generate consent, political actors frequently invoked affects that pertained to risk and danger on the one hand and solidarity and responsibility on the other.
Order this Article (PDF)
Access via EBSCO for Registered Users
All about Special Issue "Caring in Times of a Global Pandemic"