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Representations of democracy for young adults in Greece before and during the crisis: cultural dualism revisited through an over-time qualitative study

Magiouglou, Thalia (2017) Representations of democracy for young adults in Greece before and during the crisis: cultural dualism revisited through an over-time qualitative study. GreeSE papers, 110. Hellenic Observatory, European Institute, London, UK.

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Identification Number: 110


This paper is a synthesis of my over-time research on the social representations of Democracy among young adults in Greece, between 18 and 30 years old, before and during the crisis. The research follows a grounded theory, qualitative and political psychology approach. The presentations, based on the results of the discourse analysis, reveal an overarching pattern and revisit the construct of cultural dualism in Greece, introduced by Diamandouros, (1994; 2013), assuming an underdog majority is opposed to a reformist and modernist minority. My research results, reinforce the argument of a cultural dualism but they point to a different direction as to the character and the content of this opposition. When it comes to young adults, I observe the presence of two discursive styles, related to different definitions of democracy: a majority, with a ‘dualistic’, or oppositional way of thinking, is compared to a moderate minority with a ‘gradual’, moderate, way of thinking. Nevertheless, the two ways of thinking are presented as cultural and symbolic resources (Valsiner, 2007; Zittoun, 2006), available to different populations, depending on the socioeconomic context and not as permanent characteristics of individuals or groups. These ways of thinking represent the subjective positioning of the participants in a perceived network of power relations. Before the crisis, the different ways of thinking, relate partly, to intergenerational inequality, and partly to experienced economic and social inequalities. The participants were brought up to become financially dependent to the generation of their parents, with a feeling of personal and political inefficacy. During the crisis, the practical conditions become more difficult for their survival but young adults become more empowered vis-a-vis to their families and present in the public sphere. In this case, ways of thinking correlate with socioeconomic inequalities and the new divide between those who justify and those who oppose the memoranda.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Author
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Sets: Research centres and groups > Hellenic Observatory
Collections > GreeSE: Hellenic Observatory papers on Greece and Southeast Europe
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2017 14:25
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2017 14:26

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