The Importance of Culture in Societal Responses to COVID-19

Image Credit: Image by Gordon Johnson is licensed under the Pixabay License.

By Sama Kubba

Published in Harvard Political Review in October 2021

With our attention focused on scientific and technological innovations in response to COVID-19, there is much missed with respect to cultural innovation during this time. We often think of culture as stagnant, but the truth is that as we evolve to meet the challenges of life, the cultures we nest in evolve with us. The era of COVID-19 presents an opportunity to study the flexibility and adaptability of cultures due to international differences between pandemic responses, on a governmental and societal level. It allows us to question: Is there a connection between the strength of a country’s trust in their government and the strength of its society’s trust in other fellow citizens? And more importantly, how do these cultural attitudes and relationships impact a country’s response to and outlook on the pandemic?

The author comments on the following:

Socially Individualistic Cultures that Reject Government Intervention

Individualistic Cultures that Mold to Accept Government Intervention

Socially Collective Cultures that Accept Government Involvement

Culture as a Muscle of the World’s Social Fabric

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