Facing the New Reality of Post Covid-19: A Demand for Lifestyle-Based Social Engineering

  • Bagong Suyanto, Nadia Egalita, Rahma Sugihartati


The impacts of Covid-19 pandemic break through sectoral boundaries: not only on health and economic sectors, but also in people’s daily habits. This pandemic has necessitated people to develop new social constructions in facing life in the new normal era. The occurrences so far have taught us that efforts in disciplining the community through various regulations and the accompanying social and/or legal consuquences have, in many cases, not been effective. Changes and efforts to adjust the social behavior of people in the postmodern era need to be more focused on lifestyle and positioned as part of consumption behavior—not merely rational-calculative actions. Dissimilar to the coercive approach which utilizes legal threats and sanctions to discipline the community, a lifestyle-based approach better understands people's behavior and its changes as part of consumption behavior. In terms of effort to change the behavior of post Covid-19 societies, there are two main concerns that need to be highlighted. First, the social engineering process being carried out needs to understand what Ardorno called as ersatz (Witkin, 2003). Ersatz is the second use value of a product that often becomes the main consideration for people to consume things. Second, such social engineering process also needs to be developed based on people's lifestyle. Wearing a mask, washing hands, using hand sanitizer, studying from home, and working from home must be placed as part of the hype—something that is trending and fancied among the community because it is considered popular.