Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on working life in Sweden from a social risk and inequality perspective

Lars-Christer Hydén

The project aims at understanding the effects and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in working life in Sweden from a social risk and inequality perspective on age and gender.

The COVID-19 pandemic sets the stage for a gigantic epidemiological and economic, but also social and cultural global experiment. Sweden plays a manifest role as a systematic outlier in the state reactions to the pandemic with limited restrictions.

Not much is known about the societal consequences for the individuals. Until today, The Division of Ageing and Social Change (ASC) conducted two waves of an online survey study on age- and gender-related risks for exclusion, discrimination, and disadvantage under the COVID-19 outbreak.

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This project aims at understanding risks of exclusion from working life against the backdrop of currently experienced changes on times of the COVID-19 outbreak.

It focuses on the tension between active ageing norms and risk-group definitions as well as on the future of work participation under the conditions of COVID-19, the revised employment protection act, health services and related discourses.

It is the goal to

a) provide an overview on people’s experiences and to

b) understand trends in the progress of the crises.

Diifferences between age, gender, social classes and regions

Besides of age, we want to address differences between genders, social classes and regions. Starting from these we want to contribute to a social discourse on risks for exclusion, discrimination and disadvantage by age and its interplay with other social indicators.

Research questions

The endeavour is guided by three basic research questions:

  • What kind of changes do people of different ages experience in Sweden under the impression of the COVID-19 outbreak in the field of work situations and conditions with the consequences for people’s life?
  • How satisfied are people of different ages with the individual situation under the outbreak conditions and where do they see the key difficulties or even new comforts? 
  • What are people’s future prospects for the time of the crisis and the time after the crisis? 

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