Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has not only revealed medical disparities between countries in terms of access to vaccines but has also unveiled huge rifts in knowledge and information flow regarding the pandemic and vaccination amongst the general public. With this in view, we will interrogate how grassroot communicators and social networking sites have worked alongside each other to disseminate information about the pandemic that counters the narratives provided by the state. As scholars of rhetoric, we intend to trace the ways in which professional communication and state disinformation produce information vacuums amongst citizens while also illuminating how localized resistance and social justice activism taking place through coalition building on social media, can disrupt and dismantle deficiency narratives and furthermore provide grassroot material support to those in dire need. In other words, drawing upon Ding’s Critical Contextualized Methodology, the proposed chapter will present a case study on Nepal by incorporating the petite narratives--after Lyotard--of “non-western cultural actors” (Ding, 2014, p. 30) in order to study the process and impact of alternative information flows during the time of risk and disaster, especially during the ongoing global pandemic.

Included in

Rhetoric Commons