Towards an anthropology of the European Union : insights from Greece
Title: Towards an anthropology of the European Union : insights from Greece
Citation: Armando SALVATORE, Oliver SCHMIDTKE and Hans-Jorg TRENZ (eds), Rethinking the public sphere through transnationalizing processes : Europe and beyond, Houndmills ; Basingstoke ; Hampshire : Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, Palgrave studies in European political sociology, pp. 168-187
This chapter studies qualitatively the links between the hard and the soft aspects of the European integration process. It thus approaches European integration from a social anthropological perspective: to look at how individual citizens from different social, economic and political backgrounds perceive the European integration process, how they relate to it (if at all), and how they feel it is relevant (if at all) for their everyday lives and their own sense of individual and collective identity. The study concentrates on the case of Greece analysing the views of Greek citizens and residents in relation to two major contestations that have occurred during the last decade (2000-10). In particular, we look into the field of education and the Bologna process and related tertiary education reform efforts (in 2008-09); and the media and political crisis (in 2006-07) provoked by a sixth grade history textbook that was eventually withdrawn from schools by the then Conservative government. The chapter is organised into three parts. While the first part is introductory, part two presents the corpus of data analysed and our methodology. Part three presents our findings organised along the two broader topics: 1) education reform and the Bologna process; 2) history in general and with special reference to education. Having outlined the interviewees views and the ways that they critically engaged with these two issues, Part four focuses on the way they perceive themselves as being anchored in Greece as well as within the EU (and Europe). The concluding section summarises our findings by deciphering the way people in Greece ‘experience’ on the one hand Europe as related with their domestic arena and on the other their national identity as related with Europe.
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