Exposed bodies, open houses. Embodiment and domestic life during the pandemic scenario in urban middle classes in Buenos Aires (Argentina)

From Firenze University Press Journal: Cambio

María Florencia Blanco Esmoris, CIS-CONICET/IDES
Nemesia Hijós, CONICET/IIGG-UBA

In this paper we analyze the transformative living conditions for middle classes in the City of Buenos Aires and Greater Buenos Aires in relation to the house and the body during these first two months of mandatory isolation. By gathering notes and records of our researches, we seek to problematize the visions that simplify the situation of confinement.

The queries that organize the text are: What structural inequalities are revealed by this pandemic? Which modulations do middleclass people experience in the face of this? The pandemic put our routines on hold.

For middle classes, the environments were reconfigured due to the profound disruption of daily life and the resulting excessive digitalization of our relationships. The house and the body are the protagonists of isolation.

On the one hand, we modified our diets, stayed at home, became more sedentary and made the screen the main means of communication. On the other, we tried to stay active by doing things around the house to be productive –decorating, fixing or just maintaining it– and exercising our bodies through various platforms.

However, these are just two sides of a multi-layered confinement experience. One of the most difficult conundrums for the experts was to research the material conditions of this situation strictly from digital media.

We consider it more fruitful to add layers of understanding such phenomenon on a global scale, in this case from a local point of view. In this article we highlight the type of relationship that the pandemic condition has created for certain social groups of the metropolitan middle classes. It is important to emphasize that these experiences are not linear or exclusive nor do they exhaust the stories of these social sectors.

DOI: 10.13128/cambio-8941

Read full text: https://oaj.fupress.net/index.php/cambio/openlab/art13

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