Desynchronization of the Public and the Private: The Transformation of Biocapitalism in the Coronavirus Context

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


  • Sergei Y. Shevchenko
  • Volha Davydzik
  • Nadzeya S. Ilyushenko
  • Kirill A. Petrov
The article deals with the temporal aspect of bicapitalism functioning, which experiences significant transformations in the conditions of outspreading of coronavirus infection. The сentral theoretical point refers the idea of temporal forms multiplicity. This conception was developed in the framework of time studies, by such authors as H. Novotny and F. Braudel. The emergence of biotechnologies which forms new local temporalities, determines the understanding of existence types and modes of biocapitalism functioning. However, the transformation of biological life into an economic resource, which is the core of the phenomenon of biocapitalism, is undergoing significant changes in the context of a coronavirus pandemic. The previously existing correlation of many biological and social temporalities (labor, sleep, reproduction, disease) was brought into chaos, and their dissynchronization occurred. The usual mechanics of biocapitalism functioning at the junctions of these temporalities were called into question. The failure of direct technological control over biological time, the time of virus spreading, turns social temporalities into the subject of such control. The private, everyday, and global, universal values of biological life and biotechnologies have changed, including the shift in the vector of technological hopes. This article demonstrates that time is not a universal resource available to everyone. Existing biotechnologies transform the relationship to biological time. Biocapital eliminates the traditional dichotomy between public and private by changing temporal regimes. The dissolution of the private determines the strengthening of the processes of capitalization of life and health. These temporal aspects of biocapitalism affect social dynamics, contributing to greater fragmentation of existing social classes.
Seiten (von - bis)50-67
Anzahl der Seiten18
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 2020