The Independent and Interdependent Self-affirmations in Action: Understanding their dynamics in India during COVID-19
The study explored the role of two dissimilar familial and religious practices in distinctly shaping independent and interdependent self-affirmations in two value systems surfaced to protect self-integrity and self-worth challenged by the threats of COVID-19. A qualitative method was employed which recruited a heterogeneous sample of 19 participants (10 joint and 9 nuclear families) who reported the consequences of COVID-19 and the roles of familial and religious values in facing the pandemic threats through a semi-structured interview. Five themes were generated: the perceived strong threat of COVID-19, positive roles of joint familial values and the religious values, dissimilar roles of individualistic and collectivistic values as well as traditional and modern religious values. Threats were expressed in the experiences of anxiety, uncertainty and mood fluctuations. Interdependence, affiliation and support were joint familial values whereas worshipping, divine interpretation and spiritual practices denoted traditional religious values. Independence, scientific interpretations and personal focus were individualistic family values. Focus on explicit attributes denoted modern while divine interpretation, will of God and dependency on God reflected traditional religious values. Coexistence of independent and interdependent self-affirmations originating from two distinct familial and religious value systems was observed possibly due to the current transitions in the Indian society.
COVID-19; Indian family; narrative thematic analysis; pandemic; religious and familial practices; self-affirmation; social practices; threat.