Revisiting Applied Anthropology: COVID-19 special issue inquiries about the processes by which applied anthropology as a discipline currently addresses the health and health care challenges of spreading the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.
As exponential COVID-19 spread hits African countries, we continue to experience life losses, acute infection numbers, and novel control measures dictated by global and local health institutions, along with public health advisory reports, testing protocols, conflicting socio-political behavior, and diverse forms of economic burden. As social scientists, we aim to join efforts to understand the outbreak's impact and the dynamics of this new reality. Applied anthropology has always engaged in critical explanatory and analytical studies on human life and offers valuable contributions that can sustain strategies invested in solving social problems.
The objective of this special issue of the African Anthropologist journal is to consider the current theoretical constructions and empirical research that applied anthropology utilizes to publicly present paradigms, perspectives, systems of thought, resources, and applications to reflect and actively act upon the social and cultural implications of the outbreak of COVID-19. How can committed, rigorous analysis and thinking contribute to critical interventions? Topics and subject matter constituting the role(s) of applied anthropology in the contexts of the Covid-19 pandemic include (but are not limited to) the following:
• Global and local health policy • Political systems, communications, media • Inequalities and disparities • Co-morbidities, coping with loss, grief • Rural and urban contexts • Perceptions, systems of belief, health care seeking behaviors • Health care systems, health workers • Education, teaching, and learning systems • International and local trade, and economic systems • Community-based programs, initiatives, and solidarity • Population, the elderly, women, gender studies • Discourses, expressions, movements, and transformations • Transnationalism, transnational medical care