The Collective-affirmation in Action: Understanding the Success of Lockdown in India after the Outbreak of COVID-19
This study explored the nature, dynamics and role of collective-affirmation in attracting mass cooperation and support to check further spreading and to motivate people to observe preventive measures to reduce the casualties of COVID-19. A Narrative Thematic Analysis Design was employed in which a heterogeneous sample (N= 32, Age range = 36-61 years) was chosen through a purposive sampling method. The participants were interviewed about their experiences of lockdown. The novelty, suddenness and incurability of COVID-19 caused a set of perceived psychological distress and danger to individual and collective life. The Janata (public) curfew was perceived as a curfew of the people, by the people and for the people. The lockdown denoted a strong faith of the Indian government in the positive virtues of Indian People and vice versa. The mass support and adherence to the suggested preventive government measures were facilitated by collective-affirmation in the well-known positive Bhartiya (Indian) cultural and moral values. Collective-affirmation inherent in the Bhartiya collective cultural values catalyzed mass behaviours change in the form of adherence to the essential restrictions and recommendations. Collective-affirmation may have occurred due to the faith of the government in the virtues of the Indians and their perceived administrative capability of the government. A culture-specific collective-affirmation seems to emerge which initiated mass behavioural changes. The findings may have implications for changing people to face difficult situations, to accept social policies aimed at eradicating poverty, illiteracy, corruption and violence, and to adopt a healthy lifestyle to enhance their well-being.
Bhartiya cultural heritage; Collective-affirmation; COVID-19; lockdown; mass behaviour change.