Societal Crises and Personal Sense-Making: Transitions, Mobility, and Imagination Across the Lifecourse Nathalie Muller Mirza
Tania Zittou
Oliver Pedersen
Alex Gillespie
Maeva Perrin

Societal crises are not only macro phenomena; they are also micro and personal. While the macro social impact of societal crises has received a lot of research attention, there has been less examination of how people navigate their own life course through societal crises.

Adopting a sociocultural approach to the life course and a mobility lens, we will analyze longitudinal diaries in public digital repositories written over 20 years. We will examine how three different global crises (September 11th, 2001, the financial crisis in 2008, and Covid-19 2020) have been experienced by diarists and how this affects their im/mobility trajectory and their imagination.

Our approach makes three main contributions:

  • we focus on the micro within the macro, namely individual sense-making and imagination within societal crises;
  • we use a novel longitudinal dataset of online digital diaries to open a window on sense-making, mobility and imagination;
  • we propose an innovative methodological combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis of longitudinal diaries.


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