How have values changed in society?
When people were forced to stay at home, bread baking became a trend that was reminiscent of days gone by. For Greenfield, this trend makes it clear that the motive for survival is central to how values and behavior of society change during the pandemic. After all, bread is one of the most important staple foods that can ensure survival. So it is an advantage for us if we know how to make such a sourdough.
Comparison with more original societies
The psychological changes and the changes she observed in the behavior of American society today during the pandemic strongly reminded Patricia Greenfield of the residents of an isolated Mayan village in Chiapas, Mexico that she has been studying since 1969.
These earlier studies suggested that a society's values and behavior change when certain socio-demographic variables, such as access to resources or life expectancy, change. In theory, social change, cultural and human development depend on precisely such variables.
When she started her job, the life expectancy of the people in this Mexican village was very low. An estimated 35 percent of children died before the age of four and access to basic resources such as food was very limited.
Death was part of life. People met in the cemetery every week, put food and drink on the graves, and looked one by one.Prof. Patricia Greenfield, UCLA
Greenfield suspects that American society is moving in precisely this direction, with a growing awareness of its own mortality and the need to help one another. For them, however, it is remarkable how quickly this change took hold in the US during the pandemic.
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