Homework Assignment for Week 4
The readings for next week address questions of social inequality in relation to COVID-19. The report by the World Health Organization offers an overview of how the “social determinants of health” are shaping the spread and effects of COVID around the globe. The article by Lisa J. Hardy focuses on dynamics of inequality in the United States at the level of everyday life. Answer the following questions in 1-2 paragraphs each. Each response should draw directly on the reading, citing the text and including “”, followed by the author and page number in parentheses: (WHO, 2021, p. 5). Each response should also offer your own thoughts in your own words. PLEASE NUMBER YOUR RESPONSES.
1.) In its report, the World Health Organizations offers an overview of the relationship between social inequality and vulnerability to COVID, based on available studies conducted in numerous countries. What commonalities exist between the United States and other countries in terms of who is getting infected at disproportionate rates and why? In the report, the WHO makes the argument that “no one is protected unless everyone is protected.” What is the basis of this argument? Do you agree/disagree? Why?
2.) Lisa J. Hardy is a medical anthropologist. What research method does she use in her article? What sorts of data does Hardy obtain using her method, and how is this data different than that cited in the WHO report? Does Hardy’s method reveal things that the data cited in the World Health Organization report does not?
3.) Hardy’s article focuses on the ways in which social inequalities play out in public spaces (or as she puts it, in “third spaces”). What does this focus on public spaces reveal about social inequality? Are there aspects of social inequality that this focus does not reveal? (In other words, what are the limits of her approach if we want to understand social inequality in times of COVID.)
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