Description: Psychology tends to focus on the experience or behaviors of individual people. While social psychologists DO study people’s behavior in social situations and groups and developmental psychologists examine the effects of early social/relational experiences on later behavior the outcomes examined are those of individuals for the most part. So, if we are to speculate about what life will be like after Covid-19 from the Psychological perspective what will we likely focus upon? Levels of anxiety and depression? Happiness and wellbeing? Work-life balance and priorities? All of these are worthy of consideration. To truly step back and take in both the potential individual impacts AND the larger socio-historical contexts in which life will be unfolding post-Covid we need to be open to considering what Sociology and History might be able to show us about the shifting social and historical contexts within which individual experiences and behaviors will be playing out after Covid. Think for a few moments about what those larger contexts might include and, with them in mind, think a bit about how they might shape human adaptation and behavior in the (soon we hope) coming post-Covid times. After that read through the article linked below to see what Sociologists, Historians, Economists and others are thinking about in the area.
Source: For years, the office was not just the centre of work, but life itself. After COVID-19, let’s change that, Benjamin Leszcz, The Globe and Mail.
Date: January 9, 2021
Article Link: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-for-years-the-office-was-not-just-the-centre-of-work-but-life-itself/
The concept of Social Capital comes from Sociology but links into many concepts and theories in Psychology. Many developmental concepts are grounded in sustained relationships or social capital, relationships at all ages reflect aspects of social capital, and as new as notions of emotional intelligence might seems they arise out of and are deeply informed by issues of social capital as are important concepts like social support and wellbeing. That said, I am a bit uncertain as to whether I am convinced by the author’s suggestion that working and learning from home necessitated by Covid social distancing will effectively and positively reconfigure our idea about work-life balance. Isolation opportunities for social engagement within families and neighbourhoods sound encouraging but do not take into account the stresses and anxieties accosted with working from home, particularly for mothers. That said, the changing demands of managing work, family, and self-management are important aspects of mental health and wellbeing and as such, much Psychological research (informed by socio-historical context reflection) is certainly needed!
Questions for Discussion:
1. Why might there be reason to be concerned about rates of Domestic Violence through the Covid-19 pandemic?
2. What sorts of things might be helpful during these times of social insolation in continuing not address issues of Domestic Violence?
3. What sorts of things should we be doing NOW in order to reduce the impact of the array of post-Covid epidemics we may be facing?
References (Read Further):
Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone: America’s declining social capital. In Culture and politics (pp. 223-234). Palgrave Macmillan, New York. Link
Gelderblom, D. (2018). The limits to bridging social capital: Power, social context and the theory of Robert Putnam. The Sociological Review, 66(6), 1309-1324. Link
Wu, C. (2020). Social capital and COVID-19: a multidimensional and multilevel approach. Chinese Sociological Review, 1-28. Link
Claridge, T. (2018). Functions of social capital–bonding, bridging, linking. Social Capital Research, 20, 1-7. Link
Membiela-Pollán, M., & Pena-López, J. A. (2017). Clarifying the concept of social capital through its three perspectives: individualistic, communitarian and macrosocial. European Journal of Government and Economics, 6(2), 146-170. Link
Ntontis, E., Drury, J., Amlôt, R., Rubin, G. J., & Williams, R. (2020). What lies beyond social capital? The role of social psychology in building community resilience to climate change. Traumatology, 26(3), 253. Link
Schwartz, S. E., Kanchewa, S. S., Rhodes, J. E., Gowdy, G., Stark, A. M., Horn, J. P., … & Spencer, R. (2018). “I’m Having a Little Struggle With This, Can You Help Me Out?”: Examining Impacts and Processes of a Social Capital Intervention for First‐Generation College Students. American Journal of Community Psychology, 61(1-2), 166-178. Link
Bano, S., Cisheng, W., Khan, A. N., & Khan, N. A. (2019). WhatsApp use and student’s psychological well-being: Role of social capital and social integration. Children and Youth Services Review, 103, 200-208. Link