Japanese Journal of Cultural Anthropology
Online ISSN : 2424-0516
Print ISSN : 1349-0648
ISSN-L : 1349-0648
Special Theme
Conflictive Interaction of PPEs and Nurses
Disordering and Reorganizing Affect in South Korean COVID-19 Hospital Wards
Michiko Sawano
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2021 Volume 86 Issue 3 Pages 437-456


This paper considers interactions between actors that occur in the medical field during the pandemic using the affect theory. I pay attention to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and nurses in South Korean COVID-19 hospital wards. PPEs, nurses, and other actors all have their own materiality and contexts. When they meet and interact in the ward, the order of affect is disrupted, loosening continuity. PPEs attempt to tame nurses to act to suit PPEs. On the other hand, to carry out their work, nurses try to catch stimulus from outside of PPEs, and tame PPEs by interposing a “third actor” between their bodies and PPEs. Under the circumstances where PPEs and nurses have no choice but to maintain contact, the order of affect changes while the conflict continues.

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