The New Normal and Covid-19 in Serbia from February to May 2020.

  • Bojan Žikić Department of Ethnology and Anthropology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
  • Mladen Stajić Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
  • Marko Pišev Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
Keywords:
social and cultural normalcy, critical event, rites of passage, cultural cognition, electronic / internet media

Abstract

The situation caused by the appearance of Covid-19 can be viewed as a critical event: typologically, it is an unprecedented event, which requires and shapes new forms of historical action hitherto unknown in the given context. Critical events serve as strong value and emotional landmarks in the cultural cognition of each social environment, and form the basis for a meaningful determination towards other events. Using material collected primarily from the online versions of electronic and printed media, we consider how the reality they presented is shaped through the news through the statements of politicians and medical doctors in Serbia. We trace how the narrative transformation of socio-cultural reality took place from the time before the of Covid-19 outbreak in our country to the time immediately after the lifting of the state of emergency declared due to that infection. The premise of all that is being done to tackle the infection is not a purpose in itself, but aims to enable a return to the life we were accustomed to before the outbreak of the epidemic. Covid-19 destabilizes our everyday life – a life that consists of work or study, use of free time, socializing etc. Such everyday life is a reference point of "normalcy". Socio-cultural normalcy refers to all that is understood as a normal and undisturbed course of everyday life. The appearance of Covid-19 gave rise to the notion of the "new normal", that is, a course of everyday life that is similar to normal, ordinary life, but with adherence to measures aimed at preventing the spread of infection by the authorities. In the paper we deal with the period that begins just before the outbreak of Covid-19 in our country, and ends with the period after the lifting of the state of emergency, to show the discursively produced picture of social reality in which the concept of the "new normal" serves as a cultural cognitive tool for understanding a situation in which one has to live with Covid-19 in order to one day be able to return to the way of life that existed before it.

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Published
2020-12-15
How to Cite
Žikić, Bojan, Mladen Stajić, and Marko Pišev. 2020. “The New Normal and Covid-19 in Serbia from February to May 2020.”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 15 (4), 949–978. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.21301/eap.v15i4.1.

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