Covid-19 Social Life: An Ethnography of skepticism and denialism between informality in Mexico City


  • Joel Trujillo Pérez Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia Universidad Iberoamericana-Ciudad de México


With the recent arrival of the epidemic to Mexico City, the city has faced a variety of responses. Two of them, clearly found. On one hand you can find, those coming from the different levels of government aiming to mitigate the wave of contagion, either by legal or extra-legal means. On the other hand, the response of one of the most vulnerable populations, the informal ones, which have questioned the undertaken measures, as well as the very existence of the virus, by considering it a triple affront to their individual and collective survival. This has resulted in what I call the social life of Covid-19, which goes beyond its medical existence. Unexpectedly, social life emerges and is reinforced by this sector's negative experiences with the State government. From the contentious language, they openly deny the existence of the virus -denialism- or, at least, they doubt about its existence -scepticism-. In order to ethnographically analyse this phenomenon, I have based myself on the brief interactions with the outside world to problematize the relations between the informal populations, the State, and the Covid-19 epidemic. This has led me to find a common element: the denial and mistrust of everything that comes from the authorities who, ideally, should be in charge of providing protection to their citizens.

Palabras clave

Covid-19, State-idea, denialism, scepticism, social life, Mexico City


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Biografía del autor/a

Joel Trujillo Pérez, Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia Universidad Iberoamericana-Ciudad de México

Antropólogo social por la Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia (ENAH) y maestrante en sociología por la Universidad Iberoamericana-Ciudad de México (UIA-CDMX)




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