Consumer citizenship in Greece: reflections on how everyday objects mirror and shape new social formations
Paper short abstract:
By focusing on consumption in the Greek periphery, this paper discusses everyday effects the “European crisis”. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in the Greek Aegean, it addresses the links between ideal type "Consumer citizens", consumption, practices of exchange/subsistence and Europeanisation.
Paper long abstract:
This paper focuses on the relation between European crisis and everyday consumption and is based on (on-going) ethnographic fieldwork in the Greek and EU periphery. It addresses two aspects: (a) What does "Consumer Citizenship" mean - what are the political ideas behind, which are the (both affirmative and subversive) practices? How do individual life style decisions and political agendas under the auspices of crisis relate to the ideal type "Consumer Citizen"? (b) What are the specific changes within everyday consumption as they can be observed in the context of a medium-sized city in the Greek Aegean? Where and when does exchange economy come in, what are the specific practices of subsistence in 21st century Europe? How do social actors talk about their changing lifestyles, and how do they link them to economic and political crisis? Through the diverse and contradictory practices that often depart from a critical view of both the (Greek) nation state and EU integration, it can be seen how the circular effects of Europeanisation unfold precisely where the effects of Europe are being harshly criticised.
The parliament of crisis: the saving of the European market and its effects