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The great Eurozone road-kill

Monastiriotis, Vassilis (2012) The great Eurozone road-kill. LSE Greece@LSE (18 May 2012). Website.

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When you cross a street, and there is a car charging towards you, there is always this dilemma: do I step back or do I continue crossing? The actual choice is of course yours, but as any good student of social anthropology would tell you, what is the sensible strategy depends on the prevailing culture and social norms of the particular crossing. If you are in Italy, you should better step back and wait. If you are in Germany, you wouldn’t even have entered the road. If you are in Greece, all you have to do is ensure that you don’t visibly make eye-contact with the driver: if you do, her reaction will be something like “well, he saw me, so he’d better get his bum off the road”; if you don’t, then she is more likely to think along the lines of “has he seen me? I’d better slow down – I don’t want to have to pay for that idiot”. Instead, if you are in the UK, establishing eye-contact is all you need to do: doing so, makes the driver think “that bloody pedestrian, he saw me but still wants to cross; I have to slow down”; failing to do so invites the driver to a challenge: “it is inappropriate to be crossing a road without checking the traffic first; I think I should accelerate, if anything, simply to make a point”.

Item Type: Online resource (Website)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 The Author(s)
Divisions: Spatial Economics Research Centre
Hellenic Observatory
LSEE - Research on South Eastern Europe
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2017 07:23
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2021 23:21

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