The pandemic has heightened consumer awareness of the science of infectious diseases and health inequalities, which is driven by worries about personal and communal safety.

Consumers have a growing awareness of discrepancies between different individuals’ perception of the risk of contagious diseases. For example, there is increasing discussion of what it means to be immunocompromised, and new awareness of disabilities and diseases that make others vulnerable to infections that pose little risk to healthy individuals.

Consumers have a pretty good sense of what constitutes an infectious disease. Their understanding of what it means is now fully mainstream…and it is continuing to grow which means more people are agreeing with one another as time goes on. [Click here to learn about the maturity curve and how to use it.]

Below is an executive summary of our analysis – which shows us the dominant ways in which the consumer examines the issue of infectious disease. If you’d like to review the full report on this, simply click here. [No signup required.]

We also covered this topic in the latest episode of Why Meaning Matters.

What does community mean today?

In a recent poll, our MotivBase Newsletter followers showed a keen interest in better understanding the cultural components that give people a “sense of community”.

Using the MotivBase platform, we studied the associations that over hundreds of thousands of consumers were linking to this idea of community.

Here’s what we learned. 

The culture is volatile!

There is no longer continued consensus on what constitutes a sense of community.

[If you’re curious to learn more about what maturity measures and why it’s a better metric to understand trends and shifts than simple mentions, read my article in Forbes.]

One reason for it is that the most important aspect of community is participation.

Consumers feel a sense of community when they are able to participate in social activities. It is the feeling of participation that is getting redefined at the moment, and this is also affecting what sense of community means to people and what it might potentially mean in the future.

One of the factors affecting participation is a reduced level of diversity within community groups.

For example, by exploring the connection between “sense of community” and “lack of community,” we discovered that consumers see their communities becoming more isolated and less diverse as the pandemic goes on – citing a lack of generational and socioeconomic diversity as the most common factors.

[In the image above, we explore the meaning of “lack of community” in the context of the macroculture – “sense of community.”]

This is a fascinating example of a circumstance where people need more than just their close knit community of family and friends to make them feel a part of something.

A sense of community is deeply routed in the idea of participating in spaces that aren’t always the most close knit…but that’s the point of it.

That is what’s missing.

I feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface of this incredibly complex topic. But I’m hoping this will whet your appetite. I’m going to try to examine this further in an upcoming episode of our podcast as well.

What do you want to research today?