Young people’s moral decision-making and the Covid-19 pandemic in Hungary
Keywords:Covid-19, pandemic, qualitative study, moral decision-making, sociology of morality, socializing habits
There is a deficiency of in-depth investigations of young people’s moral decision-making during the coronavirus pandemic. The current article studies such decision-making with respect to socializing with peers, drawing on 44 interviews with Hungarian university students. The interviewed students overwhelmingly changed their socializing behavior because of the pandemic, however their concrete actions showed great differences. For some it was enough if they greeted their friends differently, and did not drink from their glasses, whilst for others greater changes were made in their former socializing habits. Based on their accounts, the following factors influenced their socializing: taking responsibility by not infecting others (concentrating on family members), conformity (alignment with friends’ behavior), closeness of relationships, epidemiological restrictions and rules, and fatigue and growing familiar with the pandemic connected to the passage of time. Whilst research on decision-making during the pandemic has primarily been quantitative, we argue that this study illustrates how qualitative research can provide valuable input.
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