COVID-19 - Coronavirus disease 2019

Coping with Covid-19: Social Distancing, Cohesion, and Inequality in 2020 France – CoCo

Submission summary

To tackle the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic, governments have imposed new and unprecedented rules of social life, which have disrupted everyday practices and may have profound effects on different segments of the population. We will assess the social effects of the epidemic and confinement in France drawing on a unique empirical design based on: (1) longitudinal tracking (including ex-ante/ex-post measurements), (2) an original mixed-method approach and (3) a wide range of socioeconomic, socio-psychological and socio-political indicators. Using a social inequality lens, the project addresses two main research questions: At the micro-level, how do different social groups (such as gender, age, social class, household type, etc.) react to the epidemic and confinement? Is everybody equally able to cope socially, psychologically, and economically with such changes? At the macro-level, to what extent will the current crisis reconfigure social inequality in French society? And overall, what is the impact of these (albeit temporary) new rules of social life on social cohesion? The quantitative component of the project leverages pre-existing data collected before the social distancing measures were introduced. These data are provided by the ELIPSS longitudinal survey, which has been running periodically since 2012 on a representative sample of the French population. The project will take advantage of this panel by running five new ad hoc surveys (four in April and May 2020, and one in Autumn 2020, when the lockdown will be presumably over), thus covering the subsequent stages of the Covid-19 crisis. The panel will track changes in social practices, sociability, household arrangements, life plans, mental health conditions, and socio-political attitudes. This unique empirical design will allow us to record systematically the impact of the epidemic and confinement on behaviors and attitudes over time. The qualitative component will complement panel data by digging deeper into the social mechanisms and meaning-making of people coping with Covid-19, as well as track newer processes that emerge as the pandemic evolves. It will collect personal diaries, monitor online discussion groups, and conduct in-depth personal interviews particularly with less privileged and less IT-prone sectors of the French population.

Project coordination

Ettore RECCHI (Observatoire sociologique du changement)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


CDSP Centre de données socio-politiques
OSC Observatoire sociologique du changement

Help of the ANR 198,396 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: March 2020 - 18 Months

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