By María Florencia Blanco Esmoris and Nemesia Hijós
Abstract: This paper explores some of the inequalities in Argentina unfolding in daily life during the pandemic caused by COVID-19. In particular, we focus on the house and the body as important tropes of social isolation in Argentina. We analyze gender roles, inequalities, symbolic violences and the complexity of conciliating time and space during the local and mandatory confinement during the pandemic. This global pandemic does not affect everyone equally. In Argentina, the #StayAtHome motto exposed the boundaries of people’s living conditions. For some, it is an overwhelming invitation that appears in the form of performances and tips on social networks. Here, productivity and self-governance intersect with the fear of getting fat or “losing physical shape” as undesirable effects of quarantine. For others, this is not a possibility because confinement is experienced as a survival odyssey. In this context, not all bodies are the same and, as we present, not everyone has the opportunity to stay safe during the lockdown.
This is especially important if we take into account that Latin America is the most unequal continent in the world, a paradox that is peculiarly expressed in Argentina. We present statistical material and ethnographic outcomes of these experiences in Buenos Aires. The paper is organized around three major themes: 1) Bodies, capitalism and the culture of performance; 2) Housing: between intimacy and work tasks; and 3) Uneven privileges: solidarities and individualisms. We will focus on results from fieldwork on runners’ and amateur athletes’ body and sporting practices on housing and ways of living in Haedo, a province of Buenos Aires.
Keywords: bodies; gender; daily life; Argentina; COVID-19
María Florencia Blanco Esmoris has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology Institute for High Social Studies (IDAES) of the National University of San Martin (UNSAM). She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology (IDAES-UNSAM) where she also serves as Assistant Professor. In addition, she is a Professor in Anthropology and Sociocultural Problems at Universidad de Belgrano (UB). She is a fellow from the Argentine National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) at the Center for Social Research (CIS) / Institute of Economic and Social Development (IDES). Florencia coordinates a research related to daily lives and materiality with María Jazmín Ohanian and is also a member of research groups connected to intimacy and urban studies at IDES and IDAES-UNSAM. – email@example.com
Nemesia Hijós has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Anthropology (UBA) and a Master’s degree in Anthropology at the Institute of Economic and Social Development (IDES) – Institute for High Social Studies (IDAES) of the National University of San Martin (UNSAM). She is currently pursuing the Ph.D. in Social Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) where she also serves as an Assistant Professor. She is also a recipient of a doctoral fellowship from the Argentine National Council for Scientific Research (CONICET). Nemesia is a member of research groups related to football, politics, and sports in general at the Gino Germani Research Institute (IIGG). – firstname.lastname@example.org