Social situation in Greece

Before the economic crisis, in Greece there were intense income inequalities, the risk of poverty tended to be one of the highest in the EU and the system of social protection was at large ineffective. However the economic crisis and the austerity measures have had a deep impact on worsening the social conditions, including a phenomenal rise in unemployment, severe cuts in private and public sector salaries, the deregulation of the labour market and the spread of precarization in all sectors of the economy. The already malfunctioning welfare state structures have been undermined as public spending was reduced and cuts were imposed in sectors such as health, social security, education, benefits and protection. The unemployed, the precarious workers, families with children, migrant and ethnic minorities, but also the “new poor” spread especially in the urban centers where homelessness has risen significantly. While previously dominant political parties have created coalitions in order to stay in power and fight against the rising left wing, political tensions have intensified and left wing movements as well as racist and xenophobic practices multiplied. In Greece, household resilience becomes an important concept that needs to be further investigated in relation to new groups at risk of poverty, but also the weakening of the already disempowered welfare state. While some traditional strategies of escaping previous crises and hardship, such as reliance to extended family networks or emigration are mobilized, new forms of solidarity, mutual assistance and self-organization emerge to supplement and cover for the lack of welfare structures and the underdevelopment of the third sector.

Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences

The Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences (located in Syggrou Avenue 136, Athens 17671, Greece) is a public higher education institution of international reputation. As a research university, it offers an intellectually stimulating environment that fosters rigorous academic learning and innovative research. Founded in 1927, it is among the three oldest universities of social and political sciences in Europe. It comprises four (4) Schools/faculties, ten (10) Departments, and eighteen (8) Research Centres. Student population: more than 16.000 registered undergraduate and 500 Master’s and Ph.D. students. It is the only higher education institution in Greece to focus exclusively on Social and Political Sciences. Its academic departments cover a wide range of scientific disciplines (i.e., Sociology, Social Anthropology, Psychology) and interdisciplinary fields (i.e., International and European Studies, Culture and Media). Panteion is also widely acknowledged to be a university of excellence in teaching and research in the field of Gender Studies. Panteion University has coordinated and participated in numerous European Commission research projects, such as European Framework Programs (FP6, FP7). It also participates in several European Union programs, such as: ERASMUS, Jean Monnet, Leonardo da Vinci programme, EQUAL Community Initiative, etc.

Website Panteion University of Social and Political Science

The Team

  • Nelli Kambouri
    Nelli Kambouri
  • Theodosia Marinoudi
    Theodosia Marinoudi
  • Georgia Petraki
    Georgia Petraki
  • Aggeliki Yfanti
    Aggeliki Yfanti
  • Athena Athanasiou
    Athena Athanasiou

Relevant publications

  1. Athena Athanasiou (2013): The Performative in the Political. Cambridge: Polity, Dispossession (with Judith Butler)
  2. Athena Athanasiou (2012): Crisis as a “state of emergency”: Critiques and resistances. Athens: Savvalas, (in Greek).
  3. Athena Athanasiou (2014): Governing for the market: Emergencies and emergences in power and subjectivity, in Crisis-Scapes: Athens and Beyond. Athens, p. 72-77.
  4. Athena Athanasiou (2012): Who’ is that name? Subjects of gender and queer resistance, or the desire to contest, European Journal of English Studies, Vol. 16, no. 3, p. 199-213.
  5. Athena Athanasiou (2011): Becoming precarious through regimes of gender, capital and nation, in “Beyond the ‘Greek Crisis’: Histories, Rhetorics, Politics” (ed. Penelope Papailias), Hot Spots Forum, Cultural Anthropology
  6. Athena AthanasiouPrecarious intensities: Gendered bodies in the streets and squares of Greece, forthcoming in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.
  7. Athena Athanasiou (2007): Life at the Limit: Essays on Gender, Body and Biopolitics. Athens: Ekkremes, (in Greek).

Relevant previous projects

  1. Seventh Framework Program (FP7) Social Sciences and Humanities. Activity: The Citizen in the European Union, Area: Participation and citizenship in Europe, Topic: Citizens’ resilience in times of crisis. Title: “Patterns of Resilience during Socioeconomic Crises among Households in Europe”, Project Acronym RESCuE. Duration: 2014-2017. Coordinator: Dr. Markus Promberger (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt und Berufsforschung). Participating countries: Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom (2014-17).
  2. Sixth Framework Program (FP6). Research area 7: “New forms of citizenship and cultural identities”, research program: “VEIL. Values, Equality and Difference in Liberal Democracies: Debates about Female Muslim Headscarves in Europe”. Comparative interdisciplinary analysis of gender, migration and state-religious policies in contemporary Europe. Participating countries: Austria, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Turkey (2006-09).
  3. Columbia University, Center for the Study of Social Difference. Program “Women Creating Change”, working group “Re-thinking Vulnerability: Feminism and Social Change,” directed by Judith Butler. Fellow. (2013-).

Κοινωνική κατάσταση στην Ελλάδα

Πριν από την οικονομική κρίση, στην Ελλάδα υπήρχαν έντονες οικονομικές ανισότητες, ο κίνδυνος της φτώχειας έτεινε να είναι ένα από τα υψηλότερα στην ΕΕ και το σύστημα της κοινωνικής προστασίας ήταν σε μεγάλο βαθμό αναποτελεσματικό. Ωστόσο, η οικονομική κρίση και τα μέτρα λιτότητας είχαν μια βαθιά επίδραση στην επιδείνωση των κοινωνικών συνθηκών, συμπεριλαμβανομένης της θεαματικής αύξησης της ανεργίας, σοβαρές περικοπές των μισθών στον ιδιωτικό και δημόσιο τομέα, στην απορρύθμιση της αγοράς εργασίας και την εξάπλωση των επισφάλειας σε όλους τους τομείς της οικονομίας. Οι ήδη δυσλειτουργικές δομές του κράτους πρόνοιας έχουν υπονομευθεί, αφού μειώθηκαν οι δημόσιες δαπάνες και περικοπές επιβλήθηκαν σε τομείς όπως η υγεία, η κοινωνική ασφάλιση, η εκπαίδευση, κ.ά. Οι άνεργοι, οι επισφαλείς εργαζόμενοι, οικογένειες με παιδιά, μετανάστες και άλλες εθνικές μειονότητες, αλλά επίσης οι «νέοι φτωχοί» εξαπλώθηκαν ιδιαίτερα στα αστικά κέντρα, όπου το πρόβλημα των αστέγων έχει αυξηθεί σημαντικά. Ενώ τα παλαιότερα κυρίαρχα πολιτικά κόμματα έχουν δημιουργήσει συμμαχίες προκειμένου να παραμείνουν στην εξουσία και να καταπολεμήσουν την αυξανόμενη αριστερά, οι πολιτικές εντάσεις έχουν αυξηθεί όπως και τα αριστερά κινήματα, καθώς πολλαπλασιάζονται οι ρατσιστικές και ξενοφοβικές πρακτικές. Στην Ελλάδα, η προσαρμοστικότητα και η ανθεκτικότητα του νοικοκυριού γίνεται μια σημαντική έννοια που θα πρέπει να διερευνηθεί περαιτέρω σε σχέση με τις νέες ομάδες που κινδυνεύουν από τη φτώχεια, αλλά και την περαιτέρω αποδυνάμωση του κράτους πρόνοιας. Ενώ ορισμένες παραδοσιακές στρατηγικές της εξόδου από προηγούμενες κρίσεις και δυσκολίες, όπως η εξάρτηση από τα δίκτυα της εκτεταμένης οικογένειας ή η μετανάστευση έχουν ήδη κινητοποιηθεί, νέες πλέον μορφές αλληλεγγύης, αμοιβαίας βοήθειας και αυτο – οργάνωσης αναδύονται για να συμπληρώσουν και να καλύψουν την έλλειψη δομών πρόνοιας και την υπανάπτυξη του τριτογενή τομέα.

Nelli Kambouri

Nelli Kambouri received her PhD from the LSE. She is working at Panteion University since 2008 as a research fellow on European research projects focusing on gender, migration, domestic work, transnationalism, digital networks and social movements. She was at the core of the research teams that coordinated the projectsGeMIC and Mig@net and has taught at the department of social policy at Panteion University and the interdisciplinary gender program of the University of Athens as a temporary lecturer.

Theodosia Marinoudi

Theodosia Marinoudi graduated from the Humanities Department at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and continued her postgraduate studies at Panteion University for Social and Political Sciences, in Athens, where she completed the two year MA programme in Social and Cultural Anthropology Department. She took her Ph.D. from the same Department in 2014. Her research is concerned with the biopolitical regulation of disability and vulnerable subjectivities and bodies and the ways language and the body, meanings and senses, empathy and performativity intersect, with an emphasis on autism and the formation of autistic subjectivities. She has participated in the intensive research graduate programme “Teaching the crisis: Geographies, methodologies, perspectives”, at Humboldt University, Berlin. She is a recipient of the scholarship “Irakleitos II – Reinforcement of the human research dynamic through the implementation of doctoral research”, sponsored by Greece and the European Union. She is also a recipient of a Melina Merkouri Foundation scholarship.

Georgia Petraki

Georgia Petraki is Associate professor of sociology at Panteion University of Political and Social Science, Department of Social Policy (Athens). She holds a Ph. D. in Sociology of Work from l’ Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. She was associate researcher of INE-GSEE (Institute of General Confederation of Labour) from 1993 to 1999. She has participated in research on work organization-technological changes-labour market and social stratification. She teaches courses of qualitative methodology, sociology of labour and social stratification. She has published 4 books on labour and several articles about segregation in labor market, work organization, class structure. She has participated in European Framework Programs (FP6, FP7). She coordinates the Greek team in WORKS, Integrated Project (CIT3-CT-2005-006193) and edited the book entitled “The Global Restructuring of Work Organisation”. She coordinates the Greek team in RESCuE Project (FP7 Topic 5.1-1: Citizens’ resilience in times of crisis: RESCuE: Patterns of Resilience during Socioeconomic Crises among Households in Europe coordinator: PD Dr. Markus Promberger IAB, Germany). Her main research interests include work organization, work conditions, social stratification and the new forms of social relations.

Aggeliki Yfanti

Aggeliki Yfanti is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Social Policy at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences. Her thesis is on “The impact of alternative measurements of unemployment on subpopulation and regions”. She has worked as a researcher inINSPIRES (Innovative Social Policies for Inclusive and Resilient Labour Markets in Europe), a project funded by the European Commission under the Framework Programme 7 and in the Psychosocial and Vocational Rehabilitation Unit of the University Mental Health Research Institute. She has also administered several other research projects.

Athena Athanasiou

Athena Athanasiou is Associate Professor of Social Anthropology at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, in Athens, Greece. She holds a Ph.D. from New School for Social Research, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, at Brown University (2001-2002). Her written work on biopolitics, gender theory, sexual politics, and the technologies of the body has been published in various journals. She has authored the books: Life at the Limit: Essays on Gender, Body and Biopolitics (Athens, 2007); and Crisis as a State of Exception: Critiques and Resistances (Athens, 2012). She has also edited: Feminist Theory and Cultural Critique (Athens, 2006); Rewriting Difference: Luce Irigaray and ‘the Greeks’ (co-ed. with Elena Tzelepis, SUNY Press, 2010); and Biosocialities: Perspectives on Medical Anthropology (Athens, 2011). She recently co-authored (with Judith Butler) the book, Dispossession: The Performative in the Political (Polity Press, 2013). She has participated in European Framework Programs (FP6, FP7). Her main research interests include: gender, embodiment, subjectivity, conceptions of the political. She has been invited to teach at various universities, such as: University of Helsinki (Graduate Program in Gender Studies), Humboldt University (Erasmus Graduate Summer School “Teaching the Crisis”), University of Cyprus (Graduate Program in Gender Studies).

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