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SHAPE and societal recovery from crises

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The SHAPE (Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts for People and the Economy) initiative advocates for the value of the social sciences, humanities, and arts subject areas in helping us to understand the world in which we live and find solutions to global issues. As societies around the world respond to the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, research from SHAPE disciplines has the potential to illuminate how societies process and recover from various social crises.In recognition of the essential role these disciplines play for societal recovery, we have curated a hub of SHAPE research which looks back on how we have rebuilt from social crises in the past, how societies process living through extraordinary times, and considers the next steps societies can take on the road to recovery.Lessons from the pastThroughout history, individuals and societies have encountered periods of crisis caused by factors including war, natural disasters, and health pandemics. Responses to these crises can provide a vital insight into how we respond to future global threats.In a review of how societies respond to peril, Robert Wuthnow suggests that, “nothing, it appears, evokes discussion of moral responsibility quite as clearly as the prospect of impending doom.” Wuthnow examines how societies have responded to four major threats: nuclear holocaust, weapons of mass destruction, concern about a global pandemic, and the threat of global climate change, and finds that, “the picture of humanity that emerges in this literature is one of can-do problem solvers. Doing something, almost anything, affirms our humanity.”Looking further back, the US Civil War also had a profound impact on many people and touched women’s lives in contradictory ways. Hannah Rosen’s chapter “Women, the Civil War, and Reconstruction” examines the wartime and postwar experiences primarily of black and white but also Native American women and provides insights into how we can reconstruct a fairer society. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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