This dissertation is concerned with the documentation and analysis of contemporary responses of a particular segment of Greek society to the economic crisis that has impacted on Greece, Europe and the wider capitalist world. Based on ethnographic research conducted in multiple sites, including the city of Athens and the village of Kandyla, I argue that dynamic contemporary connections exist between rural and urban Greece in relation to these responses. I also argue that contemporary responses to the crisis among this segment of society, notably small-business people, are constructed through and built upon strategies that have long histories in Greek village life and that are informed by responses to earlier crises, the memories of which are kept alive both materially and discursively. These responses are rooted in and performed in what Herzfeld has called “collective identification” evident in a set of shared sentiments among research participants regarding the valorisation of hard work and the principle of self-sufficiency, the parasitic nature of the Greek state, the constant production of insiders and outsiders in relation to the state, the use of reciprocity in business contexts, and the deployment of stereotypes regarding youths and politicians.
Dissertation (MSocSci) University of Pretoria, 2017.