The Social Dimension of Security: The Dichotomy of Respondents’ Perceptions during the COVID-19 Pandemic


The main goal of the study was to make a subjective assessment of the social security of households during the coronavirus pandemic. In order to achieve this goal, a three-stage primary research based on the CAWI method (computer-assisted web interview) was conducted on households in Poland in April, June, and September 2020. The research used statistical methods of structure evaluation and the fuzzy TOPSIS method. It assessed the security of households and respondents’ subjective perceptions of the loss of financial stability, income, and employment, as well as presenting the deterioration of the situation of their households in the immediate future. The respondents also assessed the possible deterioration of the situation in Poland, the growth of poverty in families and unemployment in the immediate future. In addition, the respondents’ subjective assessments of the level of insecurity about the future of their households and the situation in Poland were quantified. One of the most important conclusions was the dichotomy in the respondents’ perceptions, as they assessed the situation of their households better than the situation in Poland. The research shows that in April 2020, i.e., at the first stage of the research, the respondents strongly felt that the financial situation of their households had deteriorated. In June 2020 (stage II) this perception weakened slightly because they may have considered the pandemic situation to be temporary. However, in September 2020 (stage III) the sense of the possible deterioration of their financial situation increased again due to the ongoing pandemic and its consequences. 

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Keywords: dichotomy in perceptionCOVID-19sense of insecuritysocial securitysocioeconomic situationsubjective poverty