Social (in)security – the ambivalence of villagers’ perceptions during COVID-19

The aim of the study is to provide a subjective assessment of security in the social dimension of rural households during the COVID-19 pandemic. To achieve the objective, a four-stage primary study of households in Poland was designed and conducted. Subjective assessments of households’ perceptions about social security are presented. The possibility of loss of financial stability, job loss and deterioration of the household situation was assessed. The respondents also assessed the possibility of a worsening of the situation in the country, an increase in family poverty and an increase in unemployment in Poland. One of the most important findings is the dichotomy of the perceptions of the respondents, who assess the situation of their household better than that of the country. A different perspective on security is also provided by the rural optimism index, which can also be seen as a measure of vulnerability to social security. The considerations and analyses presented can be useful for both theoretical and practical purposes. The study improves knowledge on how households function under conditions of vulnerability. They also constitute a voice in the discussion on security in the social dimension.

Problemy Polityki Społecznej 2021;54:48–67