City of Plagues?: Toronto, SARS, and the Anxieties of Globalization

Andrew Galley


The 21st century is marked by an increase in transnational forms of identity and by the emergence of “global cities” distinguished by their privileged access to flows of capital, elite labour and information. The ambitions embodied by global cities carry with them corresponding anxieties concerning the loss of identity and the transgression of social boundaries. The 2003 SARS outbreak in Toronto exemplifies the interconnected nature of these hopes and fears. This paper presents some selected results from a media analysis of newspaper stories concerning the outbreak. The work of Mary Douglas is used to interpret these findings.

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