Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

Geography

First Advisor

Jessica Barnes

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic and the responses taken to combat it caused enormous changes to the everyday lives of people around the world. Jordan, in its early success against the virus and with its large refugee population, represents a unique country in which to study these everyday impacts. From May to August of 2021, I conducted ethnographic fieldwork in the Jordanian capital city of Amman while working with the refugee nongovernmental organization the Collateral Repair Project. In this thesis, I explore the COVID-19 Spectacle, examining the ways in which policies and discourses at the national and international scales bled into the everyday of the individual. To do so, I consider the implications of government narratives of “oneness” and commitment in Jordan, contrasting these narratives against differential pandemic surveillance. I then examine the ways in both individuals and organizations in Amman altered their everyday practices to reduce the spread of COVID-19, taking a particularly close look at such changes in the spaces of public transportation. Lastly, I consider the ways in which both the Jordanian government and individuals in Amman attempted to gain access to COVID-19 vaccines, concluding by reflecting on the possibilities of a post-pandemic. My research sheds light on both a global sense of shared pandemic experience and the ways in which inequalities at a variety of scales differentiated such experiences.

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Geography Commons

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