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A special electronic collection of articles from the Fall 2009 and Winter 2010 issues of Contexts on the topic of aging. Featuring Vincent J. Roscigno, Phyllis Moen, Eric Utne, Deborah Carr, Stacy Torres and the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on an Aging Society. 28 pages, March 2010.
Compared to natural disasters—hurricanes, tornadoes, floods—pandemics are comparatively rare. British sociologist Phil Strong (1990) was one of the few to study pandemics. He developed a framework based on accounts of pandemics back to the Black Death in 14th century Europe. Pandemics represented moments of transparency in the social order. All sorts of institutions, relationships, and interactions suddenly became problematic. The taken-for-granted assumptions of everyday life were exposed and became uncertain and questionable.