UofG study to explore how lockdown impacts on some of the most vulnerable in Scotland
A project that will explore how lockdown has impacted on those who were already isolated or marginalised has been launched by the University of Glasgow.
Seventeen partner organisations are collaborating in the study and will focus on:
- Refugee and asylum processes and facing destitution
- Domestic abuse or sexual violence
- Disability or long-term health conditions
- Criminal justice control
The study, which is funded by the Scottish Government through the Chief Scientist Office of Scotland, aims to help inform decisions on hardship and inequality and is one of a number of projects supported under the Rapid Research Call for Covid-19 projects. Whilst much of the research funded under this call focusses on medical and related scientific breakthroughs, this specific project addresses the social dimensions and impacts of Covid-19.
The study is led by Professor Sarah Armstrong of the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research and Dr Lucy Pickering of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing, both part of Sociology at the University of Glasgow. It involves a large research team including 18 investigators and seven PhD and postdoctoral research assistants.
Professor Armstrong said: “It has now become clear to all that the pandemic does not affect us all equally, we are not all in it together. Just as important, lockdown doesn’t affect us all equally either. For the person isolated with her abuser, or the person who cannot enjoy the gradual easing of lockdown because they are shielding, or the child who has been unable to visit a parent in prison for over three months – lockdown intensifies pre-existing hardships.”
She continued, “This study seeks to document the voices and experiences of those who may be impacted more significantly than most.”
Dr Pickering noted: “We aim to reveal the ways that the response to a pandemic can interact with pre-existing inequalities.”
“At the same time,” Dr Pickering added, “we hope also to learn of ways that we could address inequalities, or to discover that people who have had to cope longer than many of us with isolation can teach us something about not only surviving but new ways of thriving in these conditions.”
The team is now recruiting participants, aiming for at least 100 interviews. They are also preparing an online survey for organisations to capture the picture of the challenges and adaptations of those providing services to vulnerable groups.
The research will be conducted between now and the end of November, but the research team will provide rgular updates and early findings briefings on the study website.
Scotland in Lockdown Twitter:@LockScot
First published: 27 July 2020