A large-scale crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, has the potential to affect non-response in cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys. This study utilises a longitudinal survey, conducted prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic, to examine the factors associated with participation in longitudinal surveys during the COVID-19 period, and how this has changed from prior to the pandemic. We find that a number of demographic groups are more likely to be non-responders to COVID-19 surveys, despite having completed pre-COVID surveys, as well as a number of other economic and personality factors. Reassuringly though, there were many more factors that did not have an association. The findings also highlight that two simple questions (with a low time cost) on subjective survey experience early in the pandemic were highly useful in predicting future survey participation. These findings can help to support survey practitioners and data collection companies to develop more robust response improvement strategies during the COVID-19 period.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unexpected disruptions to Western countries which affected women more adversely than men. Previous studies suggest that gender differences are attributable to: women being over-represented in the most affected sectors of the economy, women’s labour market disadvantage as compared to their partners, and mothers taking a bigger share childcare responsibilities following school closures. Using the data from four British nationally representative cohort studies, we test these propositions. Our findings confirm that the adverse labour market effects were still experienced by women a year into the COVID-19 pandemic and that these effects were the most severe for women who lived with a partner and children, even if they worked in critical occupations. We show that adjusting for pre-pandemic job characteristics attenuates the gaps, suggesting that women were over-represented in jobs disproportionately affected by COVID-19 pandemic. However, the remaining gaps are not further attenuated by adjusting for the partner’s job and children characteristics, suggesting that the adversities experienced by women were not driven by their relative labour market position, as compared to their partners or childcare responsibilities. The residual gender differences observed in the rates of active, paid work and furlough for those who live with partner and children point to the importance of unobserved factors such as social norms, preferences, or discrimination. These effects may be long-lasting and jeopardise women’s longer-term position through the loss of experience, leading to reinforcement of gender inequalities or even reversal of the progress towards gender equality.
A household’s financial satisfaction is one of the most significant factors driving subjective well-being. However, Poland ranks close to the lowest position, 22nd out of the 28 EU members, in self-reported financial status. The paper investigates the problem of determining patterns of Polish households’ behaviour and shows the evolution of the subjective assessment of financial situation based on the eight waves of the Polish Household panel data. The analysis is carried out on the basis of latent Markov (LM) models, which allow for socio-economic features affecting the parameters of the latent process. We compare different types of LM models considering: (1) different numbers of latent structures; (2) different types of the latent process constraints; (3) socio-economic background characteristics; and (4) survey weights (being excluded in most of the empirical analyses). The final model identifies three latent states, specifies common initial and transition probabilities over a 15-year period and, as a result, enables us to better characterise the families likely to change their position, especially families reporting worsening in their financial situation. To show the main direction of self-reporting financial condition, we present the predicted path for respondents characterised by the selected socio-economic features, relying on algorithm maximising posterior probabilities of the selected LM model.
Working mothers face challenges in pursuing their career aspirations due to work–family conflict. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has posed added challenges for working mothers by increasing care demands while also causing numerous health, economic and social disruptions. In this paper, we examine the impact of COVID-19 on Korean working mothers’ career aspirations. We employ a longitudinal qualitative design by analysing 64 in-depth interviews with 32 mothers of young children in South Korea. By interviewing the same women before (2019) and during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020), we are able to document how working mothers’ career aspirations were impacted by COVID-19. Findings show that all working mothers in the sample experienced increased care demands due to COVID-19. However, the influence of COVID-19 on working mothers’ career aspirations hinged on gendered beliefs related to childcare responsibility. When working mothers believed or were subjected to beliefs that mothers should be the primary caregiver for children (gendered care belief), their career aspirations were tempered or relinquished. On the other hand, those who believed that mothers should not be held solely responsible for childcare (gender egalitarian care belief) continued to pursue their career aspirations or experienced career advancements during COVID-19. Findings suggest that beliefs related to care responsibilities play an important role in working mothers’ pursuit of their career aspirations, and potentially their future careers.
This chapter turns to religious belief as an example of expertise, drawing on: (1) the study of religious practices in the anthropology of religion; (2) the literature associated with the so-called Third Wave in Science and Technology Studies; and (3) Wittgenstein’s concept of forms of life, including his remarks on the potential for communication across ideological or religious boundaries. There are actually four expert communities in the crisis of expertise, namely: (1) consensus scientists; (2) non-scientist citizens who believe in consensus science; (3) fringe (or “minority”) scientists; and (4) non-scientist believers in fringe science. Expertise, that is, should be associated neither with esoteric knowledge (such as scientific principles), nor with “correct” views (even astrologers can be “experts”). Religious believers become experts in the language, practices, and principles of their community, just as scientists become experts in the language, practices, and principles of their discipline. Both occupy, in Wittgenstein’s terminology, a “form of life,” or worldview.
This chapter argues that viewing the crisis of expertise in terms of a battle between “expertises,” grounded in faith-like commitments, will best serve the goals of communication, persuasion, and understanding in policy disputes in a divided nation. Since conflicting expert communities have specialized languages and values that, respectively, unite and distinguish each community, the solution to the crisis of expertise involves persuasive communication between worldviews. Communication is made possible by: (1) self-awareness that we are all ideological; (2) modesty about the science in which one believes (that is, recognizing uncertainties); and (3) a common anchor in some level of scientific data and method (hence, my argument and solution do not apply to ordinary “culture war” controversies, such as who won the 2020 US presidential election). That analysis finds support in the literature associated with science communication theory and conflict resolution in policy disputes. However, this chapter’s approach differs from similar analyses by scholars in this field who, like Naomi Oreskes, emphasize a diversity of viewpoints as a key to trustworthy science and, like Frank Fischer, emphasize citizen science and deliberative collaboration in policy arguments.
This conclusion confirms that while the culture wars generally seem intractable, there is hope for constructive and persuasive communication, based on understanding another’s perspective and values, in the crisis of expertise. That diagnosis goes beyond the familiar observations that a cultural distrust of expertise persists, that consensus science is worthy of acceptance, and that (in light of social studies of science) we should be modest about consensus because science is tentative and often uncertain. Specifically, this book adopts Third Wave categories of expertise, extending that theoretical framework with a new constellation of disciplinary approaches—the anthropology of religion, the neo-Calvinist critique of the Enlightenment, and Wittgenstein’s later philosophy—to highlight the inevitability of ideological commitments in the crisis of expertise. Once that is acknowledged, it is possible to at least understand that believers in fringe science occupy a different world than consensus scientists, and that persuasive communication requires understanding that world.
When the utility of masks or vaccinations became politicized during the COVID-19 pandemic and lost its mooring in scientific evidence, an already-developing crisis of expertise was exacerbated. Those who believe in consensus science wondered: “How can ‘those people’ not see the truth?
This book shows that it is not a ‘scientific’ controversy, but an ideological dispute with ‘believers’ on both sides. If the advocates for consensus science acknowledge the uncertainties involved, rather than insisting on cold, hard facts, it is possible to open a pathway towards interaction and communication, even persuasion, between world views.
As the crisis of expertise continues to be a global issue, this will be an invaluable resource for readers concerned about polarized societies and the distrust of consensus science.
This introduction to the book explains that the so-called “crisis of expertise,” wherein large segments of the population distrust consensus science, is not a new phenomenon. The crisis was, however, exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. This book addresses the public controversies that arise when there is some science on both sides of the dispute, such as a dispute between fringe views by minority scientists and consensus views by the majority in a scientific community. The book recommends that both sides respect each other to encourage communication about scientific matters, especially because both sides have ideological commitments and values that drive scientific positions. Both sides should therefore be recognized as experts, not because both sides are correct, but because both sides represent respective communities of believers. Due to the inevitable uncertainties of science, consensus scientists cannot assume that their views are obvious, or that their facts are unassailable. Persuasive communication is needed, based on an understanding of how the other side thinks.