Changing social practices. Covid-19 and new forms of sociality

Mondada L., Bänninger J., Bouaouina S., Gauthier G., Hänggi P., Koda M., ...More

Etnografia e Ricerca Qualitativa, no.2, pp.217-232, 2020 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.3240/97807
  • Journal Name: Etnografia e Ricerca Qualitativa
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Index Islamicus, Sociological abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.217-232
  • Keywords: Conversation analysis, Covid-19, Embodiment, Greetings, Social interaction, Video
  • Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University Affiliated: No


The Covid-19 pandemic has affected not only human health, but also central aspects of human sociality. This study shows how it is possible to document change in embodied interactional practices thanks to video-recorded data collected during ethnographic fieldwork. It presents the first findings of a larger project initiated at the beginning of March 2020 on Human Sociality in the Age of Covid-19, aiming at showing how the pandemic affects not only the bio-physiological body, but also the social body, and how this reveals fundamental principles of human sociality. The analyses focus on greetings, an elementary practice through which the interactional order is established: it is shown how greetings rapidly changed at the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, and how this enables one to understand both the importance of proximity and tactility in human sociality, as well as the quick pace of change-in-the-making, as oriented to, experienced and creatively accomplished by the participants.