Research characterizes new “risk divide” and class sentiments in the pandemic economy

In collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality has produced a report sharing some results from the American Voices Project (AVP). The AVP is a national research project that employs both qualitative and quantitative methods to understand life in the United States. This piece specifically focuses the changing nature of work during the pandemic and the new “risk divide” between remote workers—with fewer health and economic risks—and face-to-face workers with much greater health and economic risks. Amidst these changes, authors explore class relations and class sentiments expressed in AVP interviews in April through August 2020. While the authors expected inter-worker conflict and resentment from face-to-face workers, findings did not align with this “class conflict” story. Instead, the researchers characterized face-to-face worker sentiments as primarily falling into one of three “gazes”—a compassionate “downward gaze” that acknowledges that others are also suffering, an “inward gaze” focused on self-protective strategies and fortitude, and an “outward gaze” based on a recognition that this crisis requires everyone to ban together. #covid-19 #workforce

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