CURE: Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research: Patterns of Prejudice in Past Pandemics

Patterns of Prejudice in Past Pandemics

CURE: Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research: Patterns of Prejudice in Past Pandemics

Presenter

Sarah Bahsoun

Mentor

Dr. Anne Donnelly

College

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Accompanying the spread of SARS-2-COVID-19 was a spread in anti-Asian attitudes and actions. These discriminatory actions mirrored the prejudice exhibited towards other groups in past pandemics, notably Jewish people during the Bubonic Plague of the mid-14<sup>th</sup> century. This study aimed to determine similar patterns relating to and underlying the prejudice seen in past pandemics. Prejudice against Jewish people during the Bubonic plague, Immigrants in America during the 1918 Flu, and Asian Americans during COVID-19 was investigated in this study because of the historical record of existing prejudice against these groups before the start of the pandemics. This study focused on the three categories of potential patterns: hate crimes, political rhetoric, and religiosity. Overall, this study found that there was no general pattern of hate crimes during past pandemics without accompanying political rhetoric. In addition, there was no general pattern in religiosity in the pandemics studied, suggesting that the prejudice was not fueled by religious motivations.

Poster

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Research Pitch

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