Research grant won for international study into impact of COVID-19 on minority communities

  • Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Roehampton sociologists team up with universities in Germany and Milan to explore links between the pandemic, trust in government and sense of belonging in minority communities

Image - Research grant won for international study into impact of COVID-19 on minority communities

In April John Eade, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Roehampton, and his Roehampton colleague, Dr Michał P. Garapich, are beginning a joint project with partners in Germany and Italy after a successful 120,000 Euro bid to the Volkswagen Foundation – Germany’s largest private, non-profit organisation for the promotion of research in social sciences.

The grant will be split between Ludwigsburg University near Stuttgart, the Catholic University in Milan, and the University of Roehampton. The project will examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected institutional trust, feelings of belonging, and structures of self-empowerment amongst ethnic minority groups.

In London, the Roehampton team will recruit a Research Assistant to collect data, including interviews and focus groups, primarily with members of the Bangladeshi community, while the German and Italian teams will focus on Turkish and Peruvian communities in Stuttgart and Milan respectively.

Taking into account the differences of occupation, income, generation and gender in these communities, this international project will seek to provide vital insights into the relationship between minority communities and government institutions, and the responses of these communities to one of the biggest public health crises in modern history.

Prof. John Eade, Department of Social Sciences, said:

“There are crucial lessons to be learned from the pandemic – not just epidemiological ones but societal ones too. We hope that the project will make a significant contribution to our understanding about the impact of COVID-19 on the crucial relationship between minorities and government involving trust, belonging and empowerment.

I’m proud to be working collaboratively with colleagues here at Roehampton and across Europe. This is a great opportunity to contribute not only to knowledge but also to policy making concerning this highly relevant and important issue.”