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The COVID-19 crisis highlights the importance of what we do as sociologists, throwing into sharp relief the dangers of adhering to individualism and disregarding the social mechanisms of cooperation and scientific/occupational expertise that organize the myriad situations of everyday life. As the pandemic reveals the inequalities and contradictions in our society, sociologists engaged in ethnomethodology and conversation analysis (EM/CA) are uniquely placed to examine what happens when taken-for-granted assumptions and interactional practices change rapidly.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its devastating march around the globe and across the United States, only those who dismiss statistics about its deadly toll or denigrate the pain of those afflicted can ignore the handwriting on the chalkboard: We ignore at our peril the biological foundations of our being and the evolutionary processes that have shaped and continue to change our natural and social worlds. From the functioning of our social institutions to the consequences of our social divisions, nothing about us stands apart from nature.
Much scholarship has centered on the very real decline of U.S. religious service attendance. Such a focus side-steps the ways in which religious organizations remain central to the fiber of U.S. social life, evidenced by the fact that more than 40 percent of U.S. adults attend religious services) at least once a month and many more belong to a religious organization (Maness 2020; Jones 2019). In a post COVID-19 world, sociologists of religion are needed partners in the scholarly quest to examine the collateral social and economic impact of the virus.
Sarah L. Hoiland, Eugenio María de Hostos Community College - CUNY