Social research during a time of pandemic

The first UK lockdown in March derailed our work and the local social life that supports us all. It became impossible to speak to people out and about as we all moved indoors. If we cannot talk to people directly we lose voices and views that often go unheard, marginalising everyday experience.  

In December we organised a webinar - social research during COVID-19 times - to hear from other researchers about how they have found ways to carry out research in these times when the social distancing made face to face contact difficult, and fears about our health stopped us speaking to other people.

We have invited people who participated in the webinar to blog about their experiences.

Lima-based Deborah Delgado-Pugly writes about collaborative research with indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon, documenting how traditional medicine and inter-communal organization underpinned action to cope with COVID-19, and how existing networks based on trust and solidarity were vital to this work.

Lisa-Marie Giquel from the Local Trust reflects on about the critical importance of relationships and trust in their work with communities  in the UK during the pandemic.

Chris Foye at CaCHE blogs on the challenges of carrying out rapid policy research during the pandemic; and how three features of crisis - change, uncertainty and contingency - have significant implications for the policy research process.

Social Life's Olimpia Mosteanu blogs about the challenges and possibilities for place-based research during COVID-19, reflecting on what the Social Life team have learnt since March 2020, and how we used these insights to carry out research into quality of life at home.

Social Life's work is about understanding how changes in the built affect everyday life, our sense of belonging and relationships with other people around us, and how we can use these insights to find ways to make change socially sustainable and socially just.