The COVID-19 pandemic represents an extraordinary challenge to clinicians, health care institutions and policymakers. The paper outlines a psychoanalytically grounded semiotic-cultural psychological interpretation of such a scenario. First, we underline how the actual emotional reaction (mainly of fear) of our society is a marker of how the mind functions in conditions of affective activation related to heightened uncertainty: it produces global, homogenizing and generalizing embodied interpretations of reality, at the cost of more fine-grained and differentiated analytical thought. Such a process, called affective semiosis, represents an adaptive response to the emergency in the short-term. Second, we argue that this adaptive value provided by affective semiosis will be reduced when we have to deal with the process of managing the transition to the post-crisis and the governance of the medium and long-term impact of the crisis. Third, we suggest that, in order to manage the pandemic crisis on a longer temporal frame, affective semiosis has to be integrated with less generalized and more domain-specific ways of interpreting reality. To this end, semiotic capital (i.e., culturally-mediated symbolic resources) should be promoted in order to enable people to interiorize the supra-individual and collective dimension of life. Accordingly, COVID-19 is proposed as a semiotic vaccine, a disruption in our everyday life routines which has the potential of opening the way to a semiotic re-appropriation of the collective dimensions of our experience.

Fear, affective semiosis, and management of the pandemic crisis: Covid-19 as semiotic vaccine? / Venuleo, C.; Gelo, O. C. G.; Salvatore, S.. - In: CLINICAL NEUROPSYCHIATRY. - ISSN 1724-4935. - 17:2(2020), pp. 117-130. [10.36131/CN20200218]

Fear, affective semiosis, and management of the pandemic crisis: Covid-19 as semiotic vaccine?

Salvatore S.
2020

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic represents an extraordinary challenge to clinicians, health care institutions and policymakers. The paper outlines a psychoanalytically grounded semiotic-cultural psychological interpretation of such a scenario. First, we underline how the actual emotional reaction (mainly of fear) of our society is a marker of how the mind functions in conditions of affective activation related to heightened uncertainty: it produces global, homogenizing and generalizing embodied interpretations of reality, at the cost of more fine-grained and differentiated analytical thought. Such a process, called affective semiosis, represents an adaptive response to the emergency in the short-term. Second, we argue that this adaptive value provided by affective semiosis will be reduced when we have to deal with the process of managing the transition to the post-crisis and the governance of the medium and long-term impact of the crisis. Third, we suggest that, in order to manage the pandemic crisis on a longer temporal frame, affective semiosis has to be integrated with less generalized and more domain-specific ways of interpreting reality. To this end, semiotic capital (i.e., culturally-mediated symbolic resources) should be promoted in order to enable people to interiorize the supra-individual and collective dimension of life. Accordingly, COVID-19 is proposed as a semiotic vaccine, a disruption in our everyday life routines which has the potential of opening the way to a semiotic re-appropriation of the collective dimensions of our experience.
2020
Affective semiosis; COVID-19; Pandemic; Semiotic capital; Semiotic Cultural Psychology Theory; Sensemaking
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Fear, affective semiosis, and management of the pandemic crisis: Covid-19 as semiotic vaccine? / Venuleo, C.; Gelo, O. C. G.; Salvatore, S.. - In: CLINICAL NEUROPSYCHIATRY. - ISSN 1724-4935. - 17:2(2020), pp. 117-130. [10.36131/CN20200218]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1475443
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