Article

Individual and collective responsibility within the context of the covid-19 pandemic

Magdalena Bobowik, Utrecht University and Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Mirjana Rupar and Maciej Sekerdej, Jagiellonian University
Elia Soler Pastor, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Maitane Arnoso, Universidad del País Vasco
Djouaria Ghilani, Free University of Brussels
Foroogh Ghorbani and Silvia Mari, University of Milano-Bicocca
Borja Martinovic, Utrecht University
Project selected in the Call to support research projects on the social impact of covid-19

Within the current context of the worldwide health pandemic, the concepts of individual responsibility and collective responsibility may help to understand some of the negative consequences of covid-19. To fight the pandemic, identifying the psychological factors that may influence citizens’ behaviours and attitudes is fundamental, since part of the success of the health and social measures being applied within this context depends upon them. The study on which this article is based evaluates to what degree feeling a sense of responsibility for one’s own health and that of one’s nearest and dearest, in comparison with feeling a sense of responsibility for the health of other people, whether those of the local or the global community, is related to public health practices or agreement with healthcare and social policies, among others. These practices and attitudes help to fight against the pandemic; among other measures, by maintaining safety distances or complying with the imposed health rules and restrictions on mobility.
Key points
  • 1
       Eight out of every ten people in Spain feel responsible for avoiding catching covid-19, or for protecting their loved ones from catching it, but less with regard to protecting other people in their local or global community catching it.
  • 2
       People with a greater sense of individual responsibility, oriented toward their own health and that of their loved ones, are those who most adhere to preventive behaviours, such as hygiene measures or social distancing.
  • 3
       People with a greater sense of collective responsibility, geared towards other people in the local and global community, are those who show the greatest solidarity towards others in times of pandemic. Many of these people share relevant information with others or participate in community care networks.
  • 4
       Individual responsibility is associated more closely with being in agreement with restrictive political measures (such as limited mobility), whereas only collective responsibility is associated with prosocial behaviour.
  • 5
       In general, citizens are in agreement with basic structural measures (such as subsidies or universal basic income) to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

Classification

Tags

Subject areas

Related content

Report

Minimum wage, a measure in favour of a social contract

Spain’s minimum interprofessional wage increased by 29.1% between 2019 and 2020. What effects has this increase had on social welfare and on the fight against inequality?

Report

Inequality and social contract

What is the extent of inequality in Spain? We present a compendium of 11 reports that tackle its determinant factors and the policies necessary for its reduction.

Report

Job uncertainty and income redistribution preferences

The duality between temporary and permanent contracts conditions the labour market in Spain and causes differences in job security and income. What impact does this have on people’s redistribution preferences?

Report

The roots of inequality: intergenerational social mobility and territory

This paper analyses why Spain is one of the European countries where place of birth and parental income most condition people’s earnings.

Report

Disability, inequality and income redistribution

What is the economic impact of disability? This report shows that households with at least one member with disability present lower income levels.

You may also find interesting

Percentage of people who view themselves as above their parents or grandparents on the social ladder

Infodata

Percentage of people who view themselves as above their parents or grandparents on the social ladder


Social Inclusion

Some 29% of Spaniards have a social position above that of their parents, and over 40% believe they have risen above their grandparents on the social ladder.

Number of generations necessary so that those born in families with low incomes can reach the average level of income in their society

Infodata

Number of generations necessary so that those born in families with low incomes can reach the average level of income in their society


Social Inclusion

In Spain, according to this indicator, it takes four generations to improve the incomes of families with precarious finances.

Fertility rate

Infodata

Fertility rate


Social Inclusion

The fertility rate in Spain is 1.23 children per woman, the second lowest rate among European Union countries.