A human needs to be a part of society both biologically and physiologically to survive and have a fulfilling life. Social values such as respect, community, and responsibility for others drive progress and affect the decision-making of individuals and institutions. In 2020, social life was globally affected by the spread of COVID-19, leading countries to establish lockdowns and promote social distancing. This research investigation aims to explore the scientific and societal studies about the impact of the worldwide pandemic on essential social values.
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Although lockdowns still occur in several countries, scientists and sociologists already started to examine how this experience affected individuals and social groups. The pandemic impact issue is significant because it has never happened before, and sciences must understand if communities have to return to social values or build a life around the new ones. The resources chosen for this research investigation include academic books of the pre-pandemic period, studies about society during the lockdown, and peer-reviewed articles about the COVID-19 social outcomes.
Books written by social scientists provide a researcher with a broad description of societies’ behaviors, values, and issues concerning different modern life aspects such as healthcare, technology, or culture. One of the resources used in the research is the academic book The Platform Society: Public Values in a Connective World written by Van Dijck, Poell, and De Waal. It describes the essential values of communities considering the technological, economic, and political changes in the global society (Van Dijck et al., 2018). The book was published before the pandemic, so the data gathered from it can be compared to the recent studies to discover the lockdown’s impact on society. The Platform Society was chosen for this research as COVID-19 is a healthcare problem as well, and the book contains facts about health issues in society.
Sociologists examined society’s issues during the lockdown as well: many peer-reviewed articles were published with the primary research data gained through surveys and observations. One of the recent volumes of American Psychologist provides its audience with a study that describes how people perceived the lockdown conditions, their main activities, and how it influenced their well-being. Sibley et al. (2020) state that “the study highlights social connectedness, resilience, and vulnerability in the face of adversity and has applied implications for how countries face this global challenge” (p. 618). This research investigation utilized the data from the peer-reviewed article described above because it includes information about how social values changed during the lockdown in multiple countries.
The analysis of changes in society, which appeared as the pandemic consequences, were searched through the most recent studies. The material from such articles is different from social values’ descriptions in academic books or the peer-reviewed research about the social changes during lockdowns. It concludes the outcomes and shows the impact on the future of social values from multiple perspectives. Scientists examined the most significant social implications of the pandemic and made forecasts regarding how society might deal with the consequences (Van Bavel et al., 2020). The article was chosen for the research investigation because the data provided there is based on social and behavioral sciences and can be compared to the pre-pandemic community values.
Social Science Principles and the Research
Social science principles can be applied to the issue of the COVID-19 pandemic impact on the essential social values during the investigation research. These principles are as follows: social science is fundamental for the community, it must respect the vital values, the research methods must be conducted with integrity and reflect scientists’ willingness to serve society (Dingwall et al., 2017). The investigation explores the issue that globally impacts the society; therefore, the principles are necessary to be considered for the higher quality of research.
The principles of fundamentality and respect for social values are directly applied to the examined problem. Van Bavel et al. (2020) state that “urgent action is needed to mitigate the potentially devastating effects of COVID-19, an action that can be supported by the behavioral and social sciences” (p. 470). The data collected during the investigation helps society discover the impacts of pandemics, and social scientists who work on such studies apply their willingness to serve. Humanity values the connection, and any experience shared by most people becomes specifically important (Van Dijck et al., 2018). Moreover, the information is chosen according to the values of privacy and autonomy; thus, the researches regarding the issue do not include any personal details.
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The Audience and the Issue of the Lockdown’s Impact on Social Values
The impact of COVID-19 on essential social values, if investigated, will get the interest of a broad audience. Representatives of modern society, specifically young adults, will benefit from identifying how to deal with the social values they have had before the pandemic, and if they need to change any to have a fulfilling future. They can effectively set up new norms among society and widely promote them among people with shared identities (Sibley et al., 2020). Adults are the most active part of society; therefore, the information of the research will assist them in proper adaptation to the new conditions.
The audience will understand the message mostly because everyone is involved in the pandemic and experiences its consequences to this day. The terms such as social values, principles, behavioral science will be explained with particular examples from everyday life to provide the audience with a better understanding of the message about the issue. The research will collect the outcomes of lockdowns and directly address them to each social value to communicate effectively with the readers. The audience will analyze if a social value is still valid or requires a revision.
The investigation about the social issue of the COVID-19 lockdown’s impact on social values revealed that humanity changed their everyday attitudes and became less sociable than during the pre-pandemic period. The research developed the question if the society must keep its principles and get back to them after the profound life changes, or it needs to establish new morals to follow. Historical and anthropological data need to be studied to find out more about differences among societies throughout the past experiences that vastly influenced social values.
To make the research more detailed and discover conclusions with practical value for society, a scientist needs to implement multiple approaches. First, they need to compare the insistence of numerous social issues during the pre-pandemic period to current situations. Second, social scientists can survey specific groups to discover how their attitudes toward the essential social values changed throughout the pandemic. Lastly, the secondary data analysis can be applied to explore the human behavioral patterns registered in the latest studies.
The pandemic has affected many sides of society, and its fundamental values, such as being part of a community, responsibility for others, and respect of diversity, might now cause more problems than help. Social scientists have to observe and study the changes in people’s perceptions as community members. The essential principles should be revised to decide if humanity needs to keep them or establish new ones for building a thriving society in the post-pandemic period.
Dingwall, R., Iphofen, R., Lewis, J., Oates, J., & Emmerich, N. (2017). Towards common principles for social science research ethics: A discussion document for the Academy of Social Sciences. Advances in Research Ethics and Integrity, 1, 111–123. Web.
Sibley, C. G., Greaves, L. M., Satherley, N., Wilson, M. S., Overall, N. C., Lee, C. H., & Houkamau, C. A. (2020). Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown on trust, attitudes toward government, and well-being. American Psychologist, 75(5), 618–630. Web.
Van Bavel, J. J., Baicker, K., Boggio, P. S., Capraro, V., Cichocka, A., Cikara, M., & Drury, J. (2020). Using social and behavioral science to support the COVID-19 pandemic response. Nature Human Behaviour, 4, 460–471. Web.
Van Dijck, J., Poell, T., & De Waal, M. (2018). The platform society: Public values in a connective world. Oxford University Press.