Call for Submissions: Applied Sociologists and the Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic

I work in a policy team responding to the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic in Sydney, Australia. This is not our regular job; but it has become a large part of our work. Like many people, our directive has completely shifted. Our team is voluntarily working from home, with the blessing of a supportive management team. We are a multidisciplinary, applied research team. Our fieldwork, workshops and other activities have been impacted, but we have plenty of other work that can be done from home.

My work priorities have changed. Some of my projects have new timeframes, other trials may be on hold, and I’m focusing my contribution on our team’s policy advice and research for partner agencies. Currently, we are preparing advice on how to enhance public communications, how to address behavioural issues in following public health advice, and how to plan ahead to ease the burden on the healthcare system. This direction may change, if the pandemic goes the way of some other nations.

Other parts of our organisation cannot work from home as their work is in frontline services. I am lucky to have the safety of a permanent role, paid sick leave should I need it, and other provisions such as relatively good access to technology.

My personal life is inconvenienced, but manageable. I have an injury and health issues that I can nurse largely from home. Like most people I have lost some comforts (no toilet paper!), but I have friends who are helping. I am in isolation away from my family who live in another city, which is tricky as I have family responsibilities to fulfil as a Peruvian person. All in all though, I am in a relatively safe position.

I’ve been thinking about how the situation here, in a large city that is not yet practising enforced social isolation, is not the same as how other applied sociologists might be experiencing the pandemic. As such, I’m opening up submissions from applied sociologists working on policies, programs and services to address the Covid-19 pandemic.

I’m seeking short and timely reflections from applied sociologists from around the world. An ‘applied sociologist’ is defined as a sociology practitioner working outside academia. Tell us about how you’re using sociological theories, concepts, methods or practices to address issues emerging from Covid-19, from coordinating public health responses, to improving public communications, providing policy advice, meeting the needs of homeless people, providing care to vulnerable and high-risk groups, and more.

Submissions

We are looking for written submissions, in English, between 500 words to 1,000 words, via this GoogleForm.

We will also accept video or audio submissions in English of no more than 10 minutes to answer the same questions as the form below. If you’d prefer to be interviewed via video or audio, contact Zuleyka.

Due to the evolving nature of this pandemic, we are looking for short, and quick, turnaround. Submissions close Sunday 12 April, 11:59 pm AEST. If you’d like to contribute, but this deadline poses a problem, please get in touch with Zuleyka.

You will be provided editorial support to prepare your story for publication (free of course!).

For your submission, we ask for some background about your job and answers to these three key questions:

  1. What do you do in your paid work?
  2. Tell us about the social context where you live, and how has your work shifted to respond to Covid-19?
  3. How are you using applied sociology in your day-to-day work to directly respond to Covid-19?

All submissions will be published as a compilation, or a series of blog posts, on SociologyAtWork.org, in early May 2020. It is your responsibility to seek clearance for publication from your employer, prior to submission.

If your submission is accepted for publication, we will require a high-resolution photo of you to accompany your post.

If you’re interested, we also welcome any other photos, videos or artwork related to your work that is relevant to your submission. It is your responsibility to seek appropriate permissions and copyright, so it would be best to submit images you own.

Exclusions

Unfortunately, everybody’s work and personal life has been impacted by Covid-19, including paid work moving to online environments. However, we are looking for discussion on the work that applied sociologists are already doing to directly address Covid-19, not ideas on what should happen. As such, we do not accept submissions from:

  • Sociologists who are not actively working on Covid-19
  • Submissions from academics
  • Op eds or articles on what you think ought to happen

Sociology at Work is a not-for-profit, run on a volunteer basis by Dr Zuleyka Zevallos, who uses her own money, time and resources to keep our community going. As such, please note that submissions are not paid.

If you’re an applied sociologists who fits the criteria, and you want to tell your story, fill in this GoogleForm.

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