The Pandemic Perhaps: Dramatic Events in a Public Culture of Danger

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9780520284098: The Pandemic Perhaps: Dramatic Events in a Public Culture of Danger

In 2005, American experts sent out urgent warnings throughout the country: a devastating flu pandemic was fast approaching. Influenza was a serious disease, not a seasonal nuisance; it could kill millions of people. If urgent steps were not taken immediately, the pandemic could shut down the economy and “trigger a reaction that will change the world overnight.” 

The Pandemic Perhaps explores how American experts framed a catastrophe that never occurred. The urgent threat that was presented to the public produced a profound sense of insecurity, prompting a systematic effort to prepare the population for the coming plague. But when that plague did not arrive, the race to avert it carried on. Paradoxically, it was the absence of disease that made preparedness a permanent project.

The Pandemic Perhaps tells the story of what happened when nothing really happened. Drawing on fieldwork among scientists and public health professionals in New York City, the book is an investigation of how actors and institutions produced a scene of extreme expectation through the circulation of dramatic plague visions. It argues that experts deployed these visions to draw attention to the possibility of a pandemic, frame the disease as a catastrophic event, and make it meaningful to the nation. Today, when we talk about pandemic influenza, we must always say “perhaps.” What, then, does it mean to engage a disease in the modality of the maybe?

 

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From the Inside Flap:

"The Pandemic Perhaps examines how one virus has mobilized government and capital as well as created and broken scientific reputations. This promises to be an important contribution to the anthropology of modern science."—Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Columbia University

"The Pandemic Perhaps is a revelatory ethnography of the politics of contagion in the twenty-first century. Beautifully written and researched, this book is essential reading for anyone trying to understand our era of infectious insecurity."—Joseph Masco, University of Chicago

"Long thought to be on the verge of disappearing, epidemics have become an object of catastrophic imagination. Through original research located at the heart of what he calls the production of 'the prophetic scene of pandemic influenza,' Carlo Caduff provides an ethnographically rich and theoretically compelling analysis of risk society."—Didier Fassin, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

About the Author:

Carlo Caduff is Lecturer in the Department of Social Science, Health, and Medicine at King's College London.

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Descripción University of California Press, United States, 2015. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 2005, American experts sent out urgent warnings throughout the country: a devastating flu pandemic was fast approaching. Influenza was a serious disease, not a seasonal nuisance; it could kill millions of people. If urgent steps were not taken immediately, the pandemic could shut down the economy and trigger a reaction that will change the world overnight. The Pandemic Perhaps explores how American experts framed a catastrophe that never occurred. The urgent threat that was presented to the public produced a profound sense of insecurity, prompting a systematic effort to prepare the population for the coming plague. But when that plague did not arrive, the race to avert it carried on. Paradoxically, it was the absence of disease that made preparedness a permanent project. The Pandemic Perhaps tells the story of what happened when nothing really happened. Drawing on fieldwork among scientists and public health professionals in New York City, the book is an investigation of how actors and institutions produced a scene of extreme expectation through the circulation of dramatic plague visions. It argues that experts deployed these visions to draw attention to the possibility of a pandemic, frame the disease as a catastrophic event, and make it meaningful to the nation. Today, when we talk about pandemic influenza, we must always say perhaps. What, then, does it mean to engage a disease in the modality of the maybe?. Nº de ref. de la librería AAZ9780520284098

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Descripción University of California Press, United States, 2015. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 2005, American experts sent out urgent warnings throughout the country: a devastating flu pandemic was fast approaching. Influenza was a serious disease, not a seasonal nuisance; it could kill millions of people. If urgent steps were not taken immediately, the pandemic could shut down the economy and trigger a reaction that will change the world overnight. The Pandemic Perhaps explores how American experts framed a catastrophe that never occurred. The urgent threat that was presented to the public produced a profound sense of insecurity, prompting a systematic effort to prepare the population for the coming plague. But when that plague did not arrive, the race to avert it carried on. Paradoxically, it was the absence of disease that made preparedness a permanent project. The Pandemic Perhaps tells the story of what happened when nothing really happened. Drawing on fieldwork among scientists and public health professionals in New York City, the book is an investigation of how actors and institutions produced a scene of extreme expectation through the circulation of dramatic plague visions. It argues that experts deployed these visions to draw attention to the possibility of a pandemic, frame the disease as a catastrophic event, and make it meaningful to the nation. Today, when we talk about pandemic influenza, we must always say perhaps. What, then, does it mean to engage a disease in the modality of the maybe?. Nº de ref. de la librería AAZ9780520284098

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