24 March 2020

Sociologists participate in emergency research on the corona epidemic


Updated 30 March 2020: Sociologists from the Department of Sociology are contributing to several research projects initiated by the Faculty of Social Sciences at short notice to investigate societal aspects of the corona epidemic.

(Updated 30 March 2020 with three more granted projects) 

What are the consequences of the ongoing corona pandemic for our political, social and economic lives? And what are the effects of the corona crisis on particular groups in society? Seven interdisciplinary social science projects are set to shed light on such questions thanks to emergency grants from the Faculty of Social Sciences.

The project funds are divided into two rounds. Sociologists from the Department of Sociology contribute to three and of four research projects awarded in the first round:

  • Associate Professor Merlin Schaeffer, together with researchers from the Department of Psychology and the Berlin Social Science Center, is part of a project that will explore the significance of the political demands of social distancing under the heading 'The consequences of social distancing policies on everyday routines, mental health, and family life: A weekly time-diary online survey'.

  • Assistant Professor Friedolin Merhout and postdoc Hjalmar Alexander Bang Carlsen, along with researchers from the departments of Psychology, Economics and Anthropology, contribute to the project 'COVID-19 Snapshot MOnitoring in Denmark (COSMO Denmark). The project is part of a wider WHO-supported international online survey on how individual citizens are dealing with risks and recommended countermeasures during the epidemic.

  • In addition, Friedolin Merhout and Hjalmar Alexander Bang Carlsen, together with associate professor Anders Blok and BA Tobias Gårdhus, are part of a project group that also includes researchers from the departments of Political Science and Anthropology who will collect and analyse current corona-related news and tweets in Denmark. The project is named 'The Dynamics of Political Discourse and Attention during the COVID-19 outbreak'.

The fourth project involves researchers from the Department of Political Science and focuses on what the Danes think, know and believe about the corona epidemic. In addition, three of the four projects involve researchers who, in addition to their departmental connection, are linked to the faculty's interdisciplinary Center for Social Data Science (SODAS), which works with digital data analytics.

Second round of grants
Three more projects were supported in the second round of grants – all with the participation of sociologists from the Department of Sociology and all with a focus on how the corina epidemic affects specific groups in the population.

The additional projects to receive funds:

  • Associate professors Anna Ilsøe and Trine Pernille Larsen, both from FAOS, Department of Sociology, analyses job market security for five groups of atypical workers (part time work below 15 hours per week, fixed-term employees, freelancers, temporary and platform economy workers). The project with the heading ‘Atypical workers in atypical times’ does so in the light of government aid packages and existing rules and schemes.

  • Together with Associate Professor Heiko Henkel and PhD Fellow Brian Noel McGahey, both from the department of Anthropology, Associate Professor and Head of Studies Charlotte Baarts, Department of Sociology, conducts the study ‘3S International - Social situation survey of international students at UCPH during the Coronavirus 2020’. The project will study how international students at UCPH experience and handle the implications of the Corona Crisis lockdown.

  • Finally the postdocs Jonas Toubøl and Hjalmar Bang Carlsen as well as Research Assistant Snorre Ralund, look into how NGOs and social networks respond and mobilise in relation to the challenge that the COVID-epidemic pose to vulnerable groups such as the elderly and socially deprived. The project titled ‘Solidarity and Volunteering in the Corona Crisis’ takes place in partnership with the Danish Institute for Voluntary Effort (CFSA).

Read more about the the first round of grants and the second round.