ABSTRACT

What future lifestyles will compose the next normal? To what extent will they encompass sustainable habits and behaviors? Based on scarcity theory (which assigns higher priority to resources and experiences in relatively short supply), this chapter focuses on the two domains most harshly affected by Covid-19: consumption behavior and social connectivity. The chapter reviews changes in their volumes, procedures, and goal orientation or contents, and proposes a framework to identify future scenarios based on developing opposing ideal type of responses in terms of consumption and social relations. Four reactions are described: a “consumer revenge” type of reaction seeking to compensate delayed material gratification, which is opposed by a “post-material frugality” type of reaction based on awareness of lower dependence on material inputs. In terms of social connectivity, one ideal type of reaction involves a personal diving into physical group social interactions to offset the abstinence of contacts, which is opposed by a response based on radically internalizing internet-mediated social life, with a minimum or none physical face-to-face meetings. The two dimensions represented by these responses generate a 2×2 matrix representing four scenarios.

This chapter is mainly written from a Brazilian perspective.