The role of collective dimensions in emergency times
Quarantine measures caused by COVID-19 sanitary emergency placed communities and populations in new and unprecedented situations and required huge skills to adapt to new ways of living private and public spaces, which arose risks bounded to social isolation and relational breaks. Relational networks, including social services supporting people’s life plans, have been hardly challenged.
As it happens in every emergency, the psychological impacts can be different in shape and depth and can bring different effects in community lives. Thus, in this specific emergency the collective dimension in the one risking more than others to get lost, as it could be mashed by the adherence to preventive norms aimed at protecting from the contagion risks. The built of new narrations and interventions, as studies and research papers referring to this recent emergency show, is to be added to this.
Thus, this call is aimed at understanding Community Psychologists’ reading of social phenomena and community ties which can explain the connectedness, closeness, and reciprocal support emerged during this pandemic. The attempt is to keep alive a vision about the interdependency among the different levels implied in giving meaning to these phenomena.
Re-thinking the interconnections between private, common, and public dimensions can contribute in grasping the meanings the sanitary emergency bounded to COVID-19 breakthrough has from several viewpoints. Have quarantine measures strengthened the berths to social and community dimensions? Which social impacts will it have on building a public opinion? Has what we mean as quality of life gone through any transformation?
Within this perspective, the analysis of community dynamics guaranteeing the success or failure of the policies adopted in several sectors – e.g., work, sanitary, education ones – and aspects boosting communities – e.g., social cohesion, participation, civic engagement, styles of responsible togetherness – are strongly needed with reference to this recent emergency.
Theoretical and methodological reflections about giving meaning to this emergency show that collective paths did not stop but rather shaped and enlarged during this time, to give strength and acknowledge traditional and unusual community competences. Indeed, the collective dimension played a critical role in guaranteeing the effectiveness of individuals’ and politicians’ choices (Jetten et al., 2020) regardless of sanitary solutions, on which future chances to contain contagion spreads will depend.
Communities are re-discovering their intermediate role in the closeness/distance dynamics between individual and social destinies. With reference to this, the call aims at welcoming social work professionals’ interventions giving concrete answers to old and new needs, which have been aggravated by the extraordinary and unprecedented challenge communities have faced and are still facing. What emerges is not a pro-gnosis or a dia-gnosis, but a RE-gnosis (Horx, 2020) meant as answers giving a totally new meaning to the capability to imagine and signify the future with reference to communities’ destinies more than to exact predictions.
All the contributions will undergo a double-blind peer review evaluation process, as requested by this Journal.
Everyone being interested in submitting a contribution can preliminarily send an abstract to the Guest Editors (firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com) by September 20th, 2020.
The deadline for contributions submissions is December 30th, 2020.