Covid-19: applied sociology of the pandemic and the dynamics beyond ‘the new normal’ in the context of the social pen theory of structural change (Published)
There is strong niche for inference supported by empirical and theoretical grounds from profiled data, both primary and secondary, that one fact is universally eminent about COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time in the history of mankind a phenomenon came to dominate and change man’s life so momentarily with obnoxious burden and consequential effects which is overwhelming while cutting across all facets of man’s life and institutions. COVID-19 has induced newer culture and fine-tuned social group networking attitude and behaviour as well as gradually changing the working and interdependence of institutions in phases. The research on Sociology of COVID-19 employs an integrated theoretical framework thus: (I) Social PEN Theory of Structural Change to provide analysis and change in social structures and relationship among members of the society and family as primary unit structure and by extension communities’ needs and expectations as support under lockdown during the pandemic. (II) Social Evolutionism, the impact of COVID-19 is overwhelming, shaping structures and gradually changing the human society and in that process social evolution is unavoidable and unstoppable, it’s not sudden but a gradual process increasing, from strength to strength, intensity to intensity and from time-to-time to inform further change of the society, a transition from modernism-to-postmodernism and into ‘The New Normal’ and beyond to establish Comteam positive stage of the society that is highly scientific. Again, ‘The New Normal’ is also synonymous to Marx Webers Ideal Society build on the basis of rationalization. Corollary to this complex process is explained by social evolutionism. (III) Postmodernism as a philosophy to define the dynamics of ‘The New Normal’ and beyond post COVID-19 society. (IV) Ecological theory to explain man’s social and physical environment deserted for COVID-19 pandemic and its consequential effects at various levels during the lockdown and beyond into ‘The New Normal’ and postmodernism. The theories were intermittently paraphrased with data and variables analysed at different ranges of analysis and measured at appropriate levels of measurement of variables during the study and demonstrate the nexus with elements of COVID-19 as a social phenomenon and presented thematic areas of general Sociology and issues that are sociological. This brings about change in man’s life and relations to groups, socio-economic and political structures in parts and as a whole, reminiscent of ‘structuralism’ in Sociology and newer culture reaffirming the social thoughts of Edward B. Taylor. For example, ‘work from home’ has changed organizational culture, consequentially transformed behaviour and to some extent attitude of staffers and by extension the structures. Social distancing has reduced social group homogeneity and heterogeneity and the attached benefits around social grouping reminiscent of W.A.Ghazali’s sociological thoughts with effects on fundamentals which sustain social relationship among diverse human race from around the world. This research examines COVID-19: the sociology of the pandemic. It is a social impact research which seeks to investigate the momentum of the pandemic on social structures, relationships and institutions. It extensively dwells on thematic areas identified in this survey as areas of interests to sociology to explore its suitability for applied Sociology of COVID-19. The research examines four key areas that are thematic and methodologically cross sectional and real-time-narratives to explore on the social impacts and changes that have taken place and those likely to occur as a result of the pandemic. Analysis of qualitative data has established the nexus with empiricist finding that leadership response around containment of the pandemic as global emergency which was (and still is) found unparallel in the fight against COVID-19 within the continent of Africa and other nations to stamp it out. The research design is qualitative. It considers primary and secondary data, interview, electronic sources and content analysis were utilized to explore on Sociology of COVID-19 as a new vista of social impact research to aid policy bearing, direction and enhance academic credentials. Also, Sociology of COVID-19 integrates narratives and observations as some methodological consideration on thematic areas analyzed in general sociology entangled with cross section of the society as study population and randomly sampled respondents as snowball for study. This study employs mixed method of triangulation as method discovered and reflected in ‘Haralambus and Holborn Sociology’. It combines both qualitative and to some degree elements of quantitative blend with real-time narratives as some data utilized are measured at nominal level. Ratio and percentile are utilized which depict the quantitative bearing of this research and active utilization of verbal narratives or content analysis that are qualitative in posture and derivatives. The research highlights key challenges as problematic areas for examination and consideration was made around justifying the approach and research design scaffolding the architecture for the study. Broader objectives are formulated and broken down to specific to enable us achieve the most appropriate result. Key terms such as; modernism, modernity, postmodernism, post modernities, social PEN Protoneous p+, positive social value, social PEN electroneous (E-) social value are defined and operationalized and provide sociological perspective to ‘social distancing’ which debunk the terms physical distancing as inappropriate while lacking social niche in this endeavour and imperatives of social grouping in designated high risks society and difficulties of community members to adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines and nonchalant attitude of not deploying face masks and other personal protective equipment gear (PPEG). The research also examines difficulties around adherence to social distancing guidelines, social grouping complexes and dynamic structures and community systems in vulnerable and designated high risks societies and inability of human to adhere to guidelines is to struggle for survival, social solidarity and biological issues also hinders adherence to social distancing, natural instinct and desire for social cohesion, human feeling, emotions, habituations confirming theoretical support from George Simmel’s sociology on ‘ sociation’ and the survey has proffered solutions that are sociological as value addition to policy issues and recommendations based on stronger evidence; empirical and theoretical on the grounds of evidence of what works. When science is mention in social sciences management and development for change and Sociology in particular, it’s to the credit of Auguste Comte; the founder of Sociology and master of positivism who reinvigorated his philosophy on the pedestal of science with emphasis and relevance on sense perception. Literature and facts behind this research have supported the establishment of ‘The new normal’ and beyond postmodernism as a society driven by normative scientific cultural standards with pattern in its operations are indicatively procedural to determine man’s life and existence and operation of things. This is a proof to the confirmation of Auguste Comte’s scientific stage scaffolding the establishment of the apex of societal progress to depict change enabled by post modernities. The human society is evolving and changing. This is to the credit of Charles Darwin Evolutionism enabled by social PEN energy (+-n) for moves of static phenomenon to get into a dynamic state of affairs as exponentially propounded by Herbert Spencer. Similarly, responsibility and commitment at the level of the high powered authorities: WHO, PTF and CDC to combat COVID-19 is marvelous with minimal gaps which are naturally unavoidable. The leadership and authorities have deployed huge P+ (protoneous capital funding) as supports and E- (electroneous human resource capacity medical and otherwise for containment of the pandemic). Citizens’ cooperation was splendid at the height of the pandemic and suddenly dropped when palliatives seem to be insufficient to cover most vulnerable communities to alleviate their suffering, especially at the time of the lockdown. There is strong evidence to support the facts that, there is sustained compliance to guideline, especially by government officials and private sector on skeleton service and enlightened individuals. Some countries in Africa such as Nigeria, Madagascar, Kenya and Ghana have made curative and innovative attempts deploying indigenous know-how of design of basic equipments such as motorized ventilators and sanitizers among other countries who have done their very best to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. The first phase of ease of lockdown and the dynamics of reopening along the curve was dramatic shooting-up while changing and frustrating countries around the world such as COVID-19 ease of lockdown has degenerated as hangover while pushing the USA under fire to contain geometric increase of confirm cases coupled with Blacks’ uprising for racial discrimination as post COVID-19 social degenerations and issues of depression, stigmatization, anxiety and loneliness due to work from home, boredom and suicide issues are expected to be high by longitudinal projection and ‘Internet of Things’ (IoTM2M) is actively changing the world and many are becoming jobless as Telecom Technology is taking the lead in almost all institutions and societies. The research has operationalized concepts and explained variables and is measured at different levels to suit the architectural framework for the study. Investigation has been made on COVID-19 precautionary measures and burden on the society. This research has examined the dynamics around isolation centers, facilities and gerontological consideration in relation to COVID-19 pandemics, the position of political sociology vis-à-vis imperialism and development strategies. The social impact of COVID-19 on family and labour force and labour power is immeasurable. The research has stressed the significance of discouraging human traffic connection, the essence and difficulties on ramping up testing, case identification and contact tracing for COVID-19 cases and conscious effort to flatten the curve to reduce the intensity and dynamics of the X and Y Axis complexes for achieving perfect ‘New Normal ‘and beyond that postmodernism and to Comtean positive stage. The survey on sociology of COVID-19 has showcased the critical issues and radical departure from metanarratives; public views and opinion were measured at different levels of data but predominantly dominated by nominal data with gender categories as male and female. To this end, the research has interrogated black uprising around the world for racism, protest staged, group behaviour and its escalation, police and manhandling of Ranshard Brook’s and George Floyd by kneeling down on his neck, killing him. Finally, the research has presented summary of major and minor findings, conclusion and provided recommendations as policy guide going forward dealing with COVID-19 pandemic and beyond ‘The New Normal’ postmodernism and Comtean positive stage of societal developments. Lastly, references are provided as sources of data; qualitative and quantitative to cover the thesis.
Keywords: Applied Thematic Sociology of COVID-19, PEN visibility and PEN Indivisibility, Social PEN Invisibility, Social PEN Theory, Social distancing, Sociology of COVID-19, The New Normal