Anne Muxel

The Other at a Distance When a Pandemic Affects Intimacy Publication date : October 6, 2021

Anne Muxel is head of research in sociology and in political science at the CNRS [Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – French National Center for Scientific research] (CEVIPOF- Center for Political Research/Sciences Po). Her work in the fields of sociology and political science deals with the fabric of individual and collective identities and the forms of the connection individuals have with the democratic system. Her research sheds light on societal evolutions that are most characteristic of our democracies. Her work has led to several publications, such as Individu et mémoire familiale [The Individual and Familial Memory], Avoir 20 ans en politique [Being 20 in Politics], and Croire et faire croire [Believing and Making Others Believe].

The Covid-19 pandemic, which the entire world and our society have had to confront for more than a year, is an unprecedented experience on such a scale. It has been a collective trial, but also an individual challenge, a common experience that has contributed to redefining us even in our most intimate worlds. The distancing associated with health restrictions, lockdowns, and barrier gestures have changed all of our personal -- family, friends, romantic partners --, social, and professional lives.

How have the French dealt with this crisis? How have they handled the restrictions that have been imposed on them? What traces of it will remain?

This book questions the anthropological changes associated with the pandemic and also seeks out its most intimate traces that have affected our inner lives and our relationships with others. Learning, working, being cared for and dying, loving and getting together, so many situations in which the virus has forced us to stay at a distance, and will have gotten the better of our most habitual ways of being and doing.

L’Autre à distance – keeping the other at a distance -- which the pandemic has forced us all to do, will it forever change our intimacy, our ways of being and doing, and more broadly, our ways of creating society? This is what the present book urgently asks.