Sociological aspects of the study of interconnections between globalization and the COVID-19 pandemic


The article is based on the author’s speech at the 14th International Sociological Readings of memory of N. V. Panina in Kyiv on December 10, 2020 and is an extended version of this speech. Paper presents reflections on the specifics of the relationship between globalization and the pandemic, and the possible configurations of this relationship in different types of societies. The author suggests that the interaction between globalization and COVID-19 is a separate case of glocalization in current conditions and identifies the coronavirus features that pose a direct threat to humanity. It is emphasized that there are no unambiguous forecasts for future developments. There are several scenarios for the possible development of a pandemic of this virus, the probability of realization of which largely depends on such a feature as the wave-like development of the exponent. These features and characteristics of coronavirus infection outline several new challenges for sociological science, among which the main is to understand the sharp narrowing of the traditional subject of its research – social relations and human interactions in objective reality, transferring their growing part to the Internet and explosive growth of virtual reality. This radically intensifies sociologists’ scientific research in the virtualization field and the multiplicity and hybridity of its forms and the cycle of realities in general. In the pandemic conditions, such spheres and directions of research appear as tertiary socialization on the Internet, forming virtual identities, forming a network person, etc. The priority trends of modern societies development in coronavirus pandemic conditions, such as radical renewal of economy and other spheres based on revolutionary technologies and introduction of artificial intelligence, are considered individually. It is emphasized that the coronavirus’s global spread has led to a reassessment of values, forcing people to reconsider existing constructs (e.g. D. Rodrick’s trilemma), in search of compromises. The article concludes with an appeal to Ukrainian sociologists to multiply efforts to understand new realities, considering new global, regional and local trends.

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