The social implications of Covid-19 on Communities

Morrison, E., Fransman, J. and Bulutoglu, K. (2020) The social implications of Covid-19 on Communities. Research Report. Institute for Community Studies.


For over 20 years scholars and, more recently, policymakers have proposed that a ‘turn’ to community will occur in times of uncertainty and globalised crisis. The global outbreak of Covid-19 has presented an unprecedented test for this hypothesis in the UK context. Individual and family- focused organising surged and continues to happen at an unprecedented scale since cases were first diagnosed in the UK; with mutual aid and informal organising pre-dating, on many issues, official government guidance and national, local and charitable support. This has created structures and behaviours which were often invisible and disconnected from public authorities, formal organisations and services but which responded to local assessments of need led by ordinary people.

This report is based on a rapid review of the available academic and grey literature in November 2020. The timeframe for the review meant that it was not possible to take a truly systematic approach but the team endeavoured to identify published and unpublished literature relating to the impact of Covid-19 on communities drawing on:

  • Academic journal publications, including pre-prints

  • Interim, public facing, and snapshot publications produced by many of the major studies on

    related topics

  • National statistics produced by ONS and analysis of national surveys

  • Reports articles and blogs published by think tanks, charities, public sector organisations and

    philanthropic funders

  • Informal/ unpublished sources such as conversations with stakeholders in a variety of roles

    around the UK

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