Young Greeks and Democracy: Social Representations and Imaginaries and the Impact of the Crisis

Thanasis Gavos   Tuesday, 26 January 2016; 6:00-7:30pm

Speaker: Thalia Magioglou
Visiting Fellow, Hellenic Observatory, L.S.E. and Centre Edgar Morin/IIAC, EHESS, Paris France

Chair: Rebecca Bryant
A.N. Hadjiyiannis Senior Research Fellow, Hellenic Observatory, LSE

The presentation will offer insights from the longitudinal study conducted on the social representations of democracy for the Greek Youth, and the theoretical model grounded on this research. This work is grounded on a cultural and political psychology perspective with qualitative methodology. Three different studies have been realized in Athens, Greece at three “critical” moments, before and during the recent economic crisis: at the end of the 90s, in 2009, and in 2011. The fourth and last study will take place in 2015, because it is hypothesized that the election of Syriza, the left anti-austerity party to power, and the referendum of july 5th represent another turning point for the collective imaginary and the Greek political system. Both the population, (young adults), and the field of the study, (Greece at the turmoil of the crisis), offer insights for a larger debate on the representation of democracy in Europe. The particular context also allows original meaning constructions and innovative combinations with other “hegemonic” representations such as Economy and Religion. The perspective adopted is that of societal and cultural political psychology, with a dialogical and constructivist epistemological approach (Markova, 2003; Valsiner, 2007), through the use of concepts such as social representations, lay thinking, argumentation and narrative. Social representations and imaginaries are conceptualized as networks of meaning: their content and the temporality associated to it, is related to future action (Moscovici, 1961/2008). By comparing past and present representations of democracy, I revisit the concept of Hegemonic Social Representation, initiated by Moscovici (1988), drawing on two different layers of the notion of “hegemony”, following the work initiated with Obadia, in our EHESS seminar.

Cañada Blanch Room, COW 1.11, 1st floor, Cowdray House, European Institute, LSE

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