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Alone in a crisis: Reflections on recent personal, financial, and health shifts 

02. Novem­ber 2022 

Vir­tu­al Work­shop at the Uni­ver­si­ty of West­ern Australia

‘Alone in a cri­sis’ is a full-day, vir­tu­al work­shop pre­sent­ing researcher find­ings and prac­ti­tion­er expe­ri­ences on sin­gle and solo liv­ing people’s per­son­al, finan­cial, and heath-relat­ed expe­ri­ences of recent crises, gov­ern­ment pan­dem­ic mea­sures and lock­downs, and the impli­ca­tions of any result­ing shifts. It will bring togeth­er post­grad­u­ate, ear­ly career researcher, and senior aca­d­e­m­ic soci­ol­o­gists, anthro­pol­o­gists, and social sci­en­tists, as well as prac­ti­tion­ers and pol­i­cy experts from across the world. Work­shop par­tic­i­pants will dis­cuss the real­i­ties, con­se­quences, and future needs of peo­ple liv­ing alone in times of cri­sis. 
The work­shop will explore being ‘alone’ from a num­ber of dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives. Par­tic­i­pants might exam­ine the short and long-term impli­ca­tions of lock­downs and oth­er gov­ern­ment health mea­sures for people’s love lives, for instance, ask­ing how dat­ing, sex, sin­gle­dom, and rela­tion­ships have been reor­gan­ised (or not) across dif­fer­ent nation­al con­texts. For exam­ple, in Aus­tralia, sin­gle peo­ple were large­ly restrict­ed from form­ing in-per­son sex­u­al and roman­tic rela­tion­ships dur­ing lock­downs, while in Den­mark cit­i­zens were encour­aged to choose a ‘seks­bud­dy’ to vis­it. The work­shop will also ask how people’s per­son­al finances have been impact­ed, in light of wide­spread job loss­es, the ris­ing cost of liv­ing, and finan­cial down­turns across the world. Also of inter­est is the impact of the pan­dem­ic on health, age­ing, and care. Most of those liv­ing alone are old­er peo­ple, yet dis­cus­sion of this group has gen­er­al­ly cen­tred on aged care facil­i­ties, which were hard hit by COVID-19. The lives of solo-liv­ing old­er peo­ple, and those who expe­ri­enced the deaths of their part­ners, have received less atten­tion. 
The work­shop will thus take a broad approach to being ‘alone’ in a cri­sis, aim­ing to draw togeth­er soci­ol­o­gists and oth­er social sci­en­tists whose work does not nor­mal­ly coa­lesce. These schol­ars might work in a range of areas, research­ing rela­tion­ships, sin­gle­dom, finances, work, health, and age­ing. Nation­al and inter­na­tion­al prac­ti­tion­ers and pol­i­cy­mak­ers will also be invit­ed. Fol­low­ing the work­shop in Novem­ber, aca­d­e­m­ic par­tic­i­pants will be invit­ed to con­tribute to a jour­nal spe­cial issue. 


Please email paper pro­pos­als to by Fri­day 7 Octo­ber 2022, includ­ing the fol­low­ing infor­ma­tion:  
  • Paper title 
  • Name, email, and affil­i­a­tion (if any) 
  • Paper abstract (250 words max) 
  • Are you are a post­grad­u­ate or ear­ly career researcher? Yes/No 


For any ques­tions please email Lara McKen­zie at