The article examines the emerging cultural divides that we can see in the different reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic. A classification of groups is suggested: COVID-alarmists, COVID-conformists, COVID-sceptics, and COVID-deniers.
The difference between the groups appears to be related to culture and information, revealing different attitudes towards the danger and protection measures. The attitude manifests itself in opinions, modes of behaviour, and political discourses. The experience of the pandemic is analysed in its cultural and existential aspects. The article aims at revealing existential and ontological foundations explaining the difference in opinion between the groups. The author chooses the following as a theoretical and methodological basis: existential and ontological interpretation of the phenomenon of mood (V.V. Bibikhin, M. Heidegger), M. Heidegger’s existential analytics project in general and its interpretations by M. Boss and E. Fink, and L. Wittgenstein’s concept of language game. From an empirical standpoint, the author carries out a secondary analysis of the sociological survey data collected in the KoronaFOM Project by the Public Opinion Foundation (FOM).
The author concludes that the difference between pandemic-related language games is due to the antinomic nature of the modern European mood that continues to determine the modern cultural attitudes. Primarily, it is the antinomy between the fundamental intention of the modern European culture to assert individual free will and the equally fundamental aspiration to establish technological and scientific control over the world. The article may interest both scholars analysing the COVID-19 pandemic from the social and humanitarian standpoint and those interested in studying cultural boundaries, divides, cultural exclusion zones, and social groups.
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