Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Anthropological Contribution to the Covid-19 Crisis: Heady and Pieta & Bullen

July 16 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Anthropological Contributions to the Covid-19 Crisis


Thursday 16 July 2020 at 3pm (BST)

A video of the event is available here

Strong Families and Infection – European Kinship and the Corona Virus
Dr Patrick Heady, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
Ms Barbara Pieta, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

Comparative research in the last two decades has transformed our understanding of the geographical distribution of European family systems.  There is now broad agreement that parents and adult children are more likely to share the same dwelling – and to help and interact with close relatives in other households – in the so-called “strong family” systems of Mediterranean and Eastern Europe, than in the “weak family” systems of the northwest.

Drawing on data from two comparative studies, we argue that “strong family” systems are likely to increase the risk of infection for older people during the early stages of the epidemic – and are also associated with highly localised patterns of social interaction which increase the risk of transmission within local communities, but decrease the risk of transmission between them.

We argue that these features help to explain the early emergence of Italy and Spain as centres of the European epidemic, and throw light on the geographically scattered pattern of infection within northern Italy. There are also implications for government policies designed to contain and manage the spread of the virus.

Basque Balcony Culture during Confinement
Dr Margaret Bullen, University of the Basque Country

It is 8 in the evening. From my balcony, I can hear the clapping has already started from the blocks of flats down the road. I join in. Clapping for the frontline health workers. For my neighbor, whose balcony joins mine, a doctor who is probably on the job now. Clapping for each other. Those of us who are confined to our homes. Some of us with gardens. Others with only the pots of geraniums that bloom through the dark green or red painted wood of the Basque balconies. The clapping ends and an accordion strikes up. The Basque triki-trixa button accordion. A woman plays and a little girl accompanies with the traditional tambourine. A man and another child dance up and down the balcony to the music. We applaud again. Over the way, from behind a copse of trees and canes, a man’s baritone reaches us with his chosen song of the evening. We clap once more.

During these two months of confinement in the Basque Country, balconies have provided an open space, a breath of air, a miniature garden for many. They have been the stage for social contact and communication, for daily interaction, social comment and political protest. But also a viewpoint onto the outside world, a point of control and observation of others.
I would like to present and reflect upon my own ethnographical observations from the balcony onto Basque culture in confinement.




July 16 2020
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category: