Before the Covid-19 pandemic a team of UvA sociologists launched a research project to study the daily lives of Amsterdam families with very young children. During this pandemic the project continues, now also focusing on the impact of Covid-19 policies and house isolation.
‘At the department of sociology, we are for some time now intimately researching the daily lives of families with young children’, tells one of the team members sociologist Christian Bröer. ‘We study how they eat, sleep, exercise and how they relate to healthcare and professional knowledge.’
‘Due to the Covid-19 outbreak we now also focus on the impact of Covid-19 policies, and how families deal with these at home. We get in touch with them every two weeks to closely follow their house isolation and how they cope with political decisions and health information in their daily lives.’
We can assess the impact of Covid-19 policy rather well
‘We know how these household normally, before Covid-19, juggle with work and care demands; how eating and physical activities are organised and how these families deal with healthcare and professional knowledge. Since we know all of this, we can assess the impact of Covid-19 policy rather well.’
‘We have also started an analysis of media coverage on Covid-19 and on information provided by healthcare professionals to assess which information is taken up and in which way among the families. We will analyse how trust, class and gender affect the way families relate to Covid-19 messages.’
The researchers involved in this study, together with students, have started additional weekly or bi-weekly telephone interviews of about 15 minutes. During these phone interviews families are asked how the Covid-19 policies and perceived risks and opportunities impact on their daily lives and activities, what this means to them and how this interacts with their financial and material opportunities. Also their knowledge and knowhow in terms of health, caring and running a family are topics in these interviews.
In particular, the team will address the health situation of the families in their home, work and care arrangements, social contacts (and the physical isolation from those contacts), trust in health-professionals and changes in daily practices of eating, drinking, sleeping and physical activity.
The families in the study are part of the Sarphati Ethnography, a longitudinal research project in close collaboration with the Public Health Service of Amsterdam (GGD). Twenty first-time families with diverse background characteristics, living in various neighbourhoods in Amsterdam, are closely followed from pregnancy until the first child turns four.