When the Economy Gets Tough, Social Change Gets Tougher

Walden University introduced a new infographic based on its 2012 Social Change Impact Report. The second in an annual series, the international study explores who is engaged in social change efforts as well as how and why they work to better social conditions. Researchers surveyed nearly 9,000 individuals across Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Germany, Jordan, Mexico and the United States. The report found that while nearly two-thirds of adults believe that social action should be taken when economic conditions are dismal, only 20% of adults, on average are more likely to donate to causes in such situations. Digital communication proved important to promoting social change.

On average, 50% of adults donate money, goods or services to causes and organizations. Besides making financial contributions in tough economic times, on average, 29% of adults are more likely to volunteer and 28% are more likely to participate on social networking sites to advance change. More specifically, report staff say findings indicate that: “More than two-thirds of adults (69%, on average) say they will likely post or comment on a social network site, participate in an online chat or sign a petition, while about half of adults (53%, on average) say they will text message, upload videos, blog or start an online petition about a cause or issue.”

Still, it seems that people are limited by their own decreased resources in a difficult economy. 37% of adults are less likely to donate money and 26% are less likely to donate goods or services.

While, on average, 65% of all adults internationally agree that it is important to be involved in social change when economic conditions are bad, social engagement differs across countries. Adults in the U.S., Canada and Germany were least likely to suggest they would change their behavior during such times. Adults in Jordan and India were most likely to propose changing their actions in a bad economy.

Access the Social Change Impact Report for more details. View the full infographic in the Walden University photo gallery below.

About Kathryn Buford

Kathryn Buford is a PhD student in sociology whose research explores digital communities across the African diaspora, social entrepreneurship and the arts. Kathryn's work has been featured in various online publications as well as the online magazine for Live Unchained (www.liveunchained.com), which features innovative arts, media and events across the world. Contact her at kathryn@siliconangle.com and follow her on Twitter (@yeskathryn) for takes on creativity, technology, entrepreneurship and society.