Right to health during COVID-19 pandemic

A sociological reading on global risk society and colonial sociability


  • Giuseppe Ricotta Sapienza Università di Roma




colonial sociability, territorial stigmatization, COVID-19 pandemic, right to health, emancipatory social science, global risk society


The paper deepens the right to health in COVID-19 pandemic, analyzing itsimpact in terms of social inequalities. The first section introduces concepts drawn fromthe global risk society approach, pointing out some of its limitations for an effectiveanalysis of the forms of social exclusion during the pandemic. The main statement is thatthe logic of inequalities emerged in COVID-19 pandemic can be interpreted moreeffectively in the light of postcolonial and decolonial sociology, with reference to theconcepts of coloniality of power (Quijano) and – specifically – colonial sociability(Santos). The way proposed is bringing into dialogue these concepts along with those ofadvanced marginality and territorial stigmatization (Wacquant). These approaches areuseful in understanding some data on the spread of contagion and deaths due toCOVID-19 in the contexts of Brazil and the United States of America, contagion and deaths that have particularly critically affected specific territories of advancedmarginality and exposed to stigmatization processes. Analyzing specific pathways forterritorial de-stigmatization – the paper also discusses the emancipatory task of asociological analysis of inequalities in COVID-19 pandemic era.


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How to Cite

Ricotta, G. (2024) “Right to health during COVID-19 pandemic: A sociological reading on global risk society and colonial sociability”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 14(3), pp. 648–665. doi: 10.35295/osls.iisl.1775.