A sociology of pandemics: The nexus of personal troubles and public issues

Research output: Chapter in Book/ReportChapter in bookpeer-review


This chapter looks at the effects of global pandemics on Australia and other countries as well as the public health responses that have been implemented in response to pandemics. The chapter focuses on COVID-19 and how it changed life for individuals and societies globally and in Australia in particular, applying the lens of private troubles versus public issues in the vein of Charles W. Mills’ sociological imagination. The chapter discusses the effects of social distancing and isolation, of vaccines and anti-vaxxers, and of the impact of the pandemic in terms of travel restrictions, education, and work. The chapter comments on the social and financial costs of the COVID-19 pandemic and discusses the ways in which the concepts of the risk society and the surveillance society apply to the fears related to the pandemic and the legislative changes made regarding people’s movement in public and other mandated behaviours. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how COVID-19 has forever changed public health responses in Australia, and whether we are prepared for the next pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPublic Sociology
Subtitle of host publicationAn Introduction to Australian Society
EditorsJohn Germov, Marilyn Poole
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781003193791
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology (30302)


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