This analysis by Maria Volkova in the proceedings of the 53rd International Scientific Conference On Economic and Social Development Development examines the pandemic's interplay with global social unrest.
The paper contains a review of classical approaches to the definition of society, social tension, and social movements. Social movements, especially those that take the form of protest, are considered. Possible sources of data used for analyzing social tension and protest activity – results of social surveys and data from social networks. The concept of "society" in classical and modern science is multifaceted. Society is a system of relationships between people built in a certain way, the basis of which is the norms of morality and universal values. Within the framework of Marxist ideology as one of the leading paradigms of the 20th century, society is defined through the joint activity of people. In the research of the British anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski, society is represented as a system that functions within the framework of activities aimed at individual needs satisfaction. This provokes the development of coordination skills and improved connections between people, which become especially strong during periods of severe shocks. Social tension is a multidimensional concept that reflects, among others, the degree of dissatisfaction of the population with socio-economic conditions of life, while the main "pain points" are a decrease in the standard of living, insufficient housing, labor conflicts, etc. Special attention is paid to the socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic: job loss, reduced well-being, and inability to lead a previous, habitual lifestyle. Their danger lies in the potential reason for the growth of protest activity.