Yoshi Kashima, Social & Cultural Psychology
Social & Cultural Psychology
Yoshihisa Kashima is Professor of Psychology at the University of Melbourne. His research on the formation, maintenance, and transformation of culture over time has appeared in Science, Nature Climate Change, and Psychological Review, among others. He is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and is past president of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology.
Transcription of the video
Which domain or aspect of social life will show the most significant positive societal and/or psychological change in response to the pandemic?
A change is the belief in change. People are going to think that there will be change and that belief of future changes are going to create changes themselves, in many ways, because they think that it’s possible to change and they’ll begin to act on it. So the best thing that happened is that people are now beginning to think that there will be a change.
What kind of wisdom will people need to capitalize on the positive societal and/or psychological change after the pandemic?
We have to have a will to keep imagining what may be a better way of living. So keep thinking what may be a place where we can improve and just keep imagining, and participate in the kind of conversation that we keep talking to each other about what that might be. And not necessarily imposing that utopian vision, or a better way of living. But to have a discourse about it, and to keep on talking, and try to act on those sorts of ideas. Check on the veracity of it, and the acceptability of it. To keep on talking and acting.
Which domain or aspect of social life will show the most significant negative societal and/or psychological change in response to the pandemic?
There will be a change and not all changes are going to be good for everybody. So there’ll be something bad happening and the good changes as well. The power of a state, nation-state, is going to increase in some parts of the world, but in other parts of the world that might fail. And what that means is that the kind of institutional support for civil society and everyday life may be weakened especially in some failing states, but it can be strengthened for better or worse in some other parts and that could be a major problem in some areas. So, it could be positive in that the state power might enter say a domestic living and that could reduce for instance the problem of domestic violence. But at the same time, that means that some of the sanctity of family life could be eroded, and the state power can come into that sort of private living.
What kind of wisdom will people need to master to overcome major negative societal and/or psychological changes after the pandemic?
We have to have a will to keep imagining what may be a better way of living and participate in the discourse and acting on that. You just have to collectively, but locally, improving the way we do things.
What piece of wisdom do people need to make it through the pandemic?
We have to have a will to believe in and trust humanity. At this point in time, I think it’s really important for me, personally, to believe in humanity. Keep on hoping I guess, have a will to hope, that there’s a better way of living into the future.
Themes discussed in this interview