Young Adults in the COVID-19 Pandemic (COV-IDENTITIES)
Project Period: 2020 – ongoing
COV-IDENTITIES takes the unprecedented chance to accompany young adults throughout the period of uncertainty that is caused by the COVID-19-pandemic with the objective to better understand young adults’ active, flexible and innovative strategies of responding to the pandemic. It does so by means of an innovative qualitative multi-method and longitudinal approach that combines mobile instant messaging interviews with written narratives. 130 young adults enrolled in educational institutions in Tyrol, Austria, were recruited in March 2020 and were accompanied throughout five completed data collection phases in 2020 and 2021. The sample included three groups of young adults: (1) pupils in their final school year (Maturant*innen) at schools, (2) students of vocational schools (Berufsschüler*innen), and (3) University students enrolled at Universities in Tyrol. The leading research question is: How are young adults making their everyday spaces, identities and futures during the COVID-19-pandemic? The project’s main objectives are to analyse how young adults are actively responding to and making their lives during the global COVID-19 pandemic and the concomitant governmental measures on a very personal level. In doing so, we seek to contribute to knowledge on the micro-level which we perceive as essential for authorities, educators and researchers to be able to assess the actual effects the measures will have had on young people.
The open, explorative approach and large multi-media data set that resulted from the study has so far allowed us to analyse a variety of topics: Already published are insights into how the pandemic has affected young adults’ relationships to the city, their situatedness and navigation through complex and entangled socio-material-technological spaces, their evaluation and adaptation to distance learning as well as their vaccination attitudes and adherence or resistance to pandemic measures. We have also contributed to the discussion of the development of remote and mobile in-situ methods that are suited to accompany subjects in challenging life situations such as a pandemic. We are currently analysing the data in regards to students’ senses of nature and their emotional connections to nature in the pandemic and effects on their social relations, friendship and related social well-being.
Kulcar, V., Straganz, C., Kreh, A., Siller, H., File, N., Canazei, M., Walter, H., Bork-Hüffer, T., Juen, B. (2022): University students’ adherence and vaccination attitudes during the COVID-19 pandemic: Focusing on costs and benefits. In: Applied Psychology: Health and Well-being.
Bork-Hüffer, T., Kulcar, V., Brielmair, F., Markl, A., Immer, A., Juen, B., Walter, M.H. & K. Kaufmann (2021): University Students’ Perception, Evaluation and Spaces of Distance Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Austria: What Can We Learn for Post-Pandemic Educational Futures? In: Sustainability.
Kaufmann, K., Peil, C., & Bork-Hüffer, T. (2021): Producing in situ Data from a Distance with Mobile Instant Messaging Interviews (MIMIs) – Examples from the COVID-19 Pandemic. In: International Journal of Qualitative Methods.
- Kaufmann, K., Straganz, C. & T. Bork-Hüffer (2020): City-life No More? Young Adults’ Disrupted Urban Experiences and their Digital Mediation under Covid-19. In: Urban Planning 5 (4), DOI: 10.17645/up.v5i4.3479
- Straganz, C. Kreh, A., Juen, B., Bork-Hüffer, T. (2020): Compliance with measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Results from two studies with young adults in Tyrol, Austria. In: DCNA Disaster Research Days report, 2020
- Bork-Hüffer, T., Mahlknecht, B. & A. Markl (accepted for publication): Kollektivität in und durch cON/FFlating spaces: 8 Thesen zu Verschränkungen, multiplen Historizitäten und Intra-Aktionen in sozio-materiell-technologischen (Alltags-)Räumen [Collectivity in and through cON/FFlating spaces: 8 theses on the entanglements, multiple historicities and intra-actions in socio-material-technological spaces]. In: Zeitschrift für Kultur- und Kollektivwissenschaften.
- Bork-Hüffer, T., Straganz, C. & K. Kaufmann (accepted for publication): Spatial (Im-)Mobilities of Young Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic (COV-IDENTITIES project). Extended abstract of the paper presented at the Online Symposium on “Disrupted Geographies or the Disruption of Geography during COVID-19”, on 7 July 2020.
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Events and Talks
- Online Symposium: “Disrupted Geographies or the Disruption of Geography during COVID-19”, 7-9 July 2020 (organisers: Carsten Butsch, Tabea Bork-Hüffer, Markus Nüsser, Nicole Aeschbach and Simon Peth)
- Talk: Bork-Hüffer, T., Straganz, C. & K. Kaufmann (2020): Spatial (Im-)Mobilities of Young Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic (COV-IDENTITIES project). Online Symposium on “Disrupted Geographies or the Disruption of Geography during COVID-19”, 7 July 2020.
- Talk: Kaufmann, K., Straganz, C., Mahlknecht, B. & T. Bork-Hüffer (2020): Reaching Young People During a Pandemic with Mobile Instant Messaging Interviews: Methodological Potentials for the Analysis of Socio-Material-Technological Spatialities. Virtual Symposium of the RGS Research Group Digital Geography, 1 July, 2020.
- Talk: Straganz, C. & T. Bork-Hüffer (announced): Young Adults‘ Positionality during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Annual Meeting of the Research Group Medical Geographies and the Geographies of Health, Remagen, 24 September 2020.
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- Bork-Hüffer, T. & Kaufmann, K. (2020): Young adults weathering the COVID-19 pandemic: They are not a “lost generation”! Blog entry. Transient Spaces Blog. Published on 21 April 2020. https://www.doi.org/10.34834/2019.0011
- Interview mit Tabea Bork-Hüffer im Weekend magazin, Juni 2020: Fragen zur Ausbildung in der Corona Krise | News-Redaktion der Uni Innsbruck: Alles in Ordnung? subject_09.4: Corona-Krise. Available at: https://www.uibk.ac.at/newsroom/dossiers/corona04/
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