Disease And Collective Consciousness
Here we explore how public policy and economic practice, which are quintessential expressions of collective consciousness, in synergism with historical trajectory, create an opportunity structure that is a tunable, highly patterned, ’nonwhite noise’ in a generalized epidemiological stochastic resonance which efficiently amplifies unhealthy living and working conditions to evoke or maintain infectious disease as the projected image of power relations between groups. This is especially true for infections carried by socially-generated ’risk behaviors’ which are usually adaptations to longstanding resource deprivation or marginalization (e. g. Wallace et al, 1996). A number of local epidemics focused in marginalized communities may subsequently undergo a policy and structure-driven phase transition to become a coherent pandemic, a spreading plague which can entrain more affluent populations into the disease ecology of marginalization. Similarly, policy changes can cause declining endemic infections to rise, likewise enmeshing dominant subgroups. Ecosystem resilience theory suggests that Apartheid and Egalitarian political systems will entertain starkly different modes of epidemic and endemic infections, something of which can be seen in recent outbreaks of AIDS and tuberculosis in and near New York City.
KeywordsPsychosocial Stress Stochastic Resonance Opportunity Structure Epidemic Outbreak Collective Consciousness
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