The article discusses the direction of the transformation of labor and social sphere (health and education) and explores the ambiguous impact of modern technology on their development. The authors emphasize that the COVID-19 pandemic intensified and accelerated the negative trends in social dynamics that have been gaining momentum in the last decade, including due to the widespread adoption of digital technologies. One of these trends was the reduction in social costs as a condition for further economic efficiency growth, which led to the labor market transformation. Within the new technological structure, the labor force is becoming more and more fragmented, “networks of talents” replace labor groups, and labor relations lose a significant part of their social component. According to the authors, in the new (post-coronavirus) situation, the labor market will develop under the influence of the already strong trends outlined above. We are talking about the automation of individual business processes, staff reduction, part-time workers and “remote” work, allowing employers to reduce wages by hiring workers from regions and countries with lower social guarantees levels. These processes will affect a significant part of those employed, since in the conditions of a further reduction in aggregate demand in the world economy, the erosion of its post-industrial superstructure, the service sector, will continue. The article notes that the situation with coronavirus turned out to be an unprecedented challenge for the social sphere, revealed the fact that the digital formats of the organization of the economy and society are better able to “cope” with the optimization of the social and social-labor spheres than with their qualitative improvement. This forces politicians around the world to take a fresh look at the development of healthcare, education, and social policy in general. The authors conclude that the decision-makers will have to find a way out of the situation, formulate new principles of the world order, including the social sphere, in difficult conditions, at the same time comprehending what is happening at the conceptual and ideological level, and developing mechanisms of legal regulation of rapidly changing social reality.
Razumova T., Sadovaya E., Chubarova T. The New Social Landscape of the Digital Age: Lessons from the Pandemic. Analysis & Forecasting. Journal of IMEMO, 2020, no 3, pp. 24-34. https://doi.org/10.20542/afij-2020-3-24-34