New open access article studies effects of pandemic on singles’ relationships
Singles (unmarried individuals) are a growing part of the Japanese population that has not received much attention in the context of the COVID pandemic. A new article by DIJ social scientist Nora Kottmann and Laura Dales (University of Western Australia) addresses the ways in which the pandemic and its associated interventions affect singles’ personal relationships and practices of intimacy as well as perceptions of singlehood and ‘solo activities’. Based on exploratory analyses of data from an online survey conducted in early 2021 , “Doing Intimacy in Pandemic Times: Findings of a Large-Scale Survey Among Singles in Japan” (Social Science Japan Journal, online first) shows that changes of practices of intimacy throughout the pandemic are less dramatic than anticipated. Nevertheless, changes are highly gendered and seem to support media and public discourse on how individuals are coping with the pandemic: an increase in social isolation, distress, acceptance of being single, and ‘solo activities’.