Migrant mobilisation during the economic crisis: identity formation and dilemmas

Georgios Karyotis, Dimitris Skleparis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The Greek debt crisis that started to unfold in 2010 has further exacerbated pre-existing tensions between state, citizens and migrants. Against this backdrop, about 300 immigrants originating mostly from the Maghreb countries and residing illegally in Crete, travelled to Athens and Thessaloniki in January 2011 and commenced a hunger strike, which lasted for 44 days. Supported by solidarity groups and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), the hunger strikers put their lives at risk but achieved some concessions from the state with regards to their legal status. This chapter utilises discourse analysis and a set of face-to-face interviews with migrant protesters and organisers of the hunger strike to analyse migrant activism in Greece during the economic crisis. It starts with a broad theoretical overview of framing, linking it to identity and the two dominant, competing frames that apply to immigration policy, the restrictive, realist one and the liberal frame. The following section provides a narrative of the hunger strike and draws on primary interview data to map the ethnic and ideological profile of participants and assess their migrant experience and evaluations of the protest action. The chapter proceeds to explore the framing of the protest movement by analysing its official press releases during and after the action, as well the discourse of supporters and opponents, which, in different ways, challenged or supplemented elements of the projected collective identity. The overall analysis thus offers a comprehensive account of the protest movement, identifies tensions and dilemmas relevant to its attempt to construct a collective identity, and allows for the migrants’ suppressed voices and untold stories to be heard.
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationRemapping the crisis
Subtitle of host publicationa guide to Athens
EditorsMyrto Tsilimpounidi, Aylwyn Walsh
Place of PublicationRopley, Hampshire
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2013

Fingerprint

identity formation
economic crisis
hunger
mobilization
migrant
protest movement
collective identity
strike
debt crisis
legal status
immigration policy
concession
interview
discourse analysis
solidarity
Greece
protest
immigrant
citizen
narrative

Keywords

  • migration policy
  • protest
  • mobilisation
  • greece
  • social movements
  • migrant mobilisation
  • economic crisit
  • identity formation

Cite this

Karyotis, G., & Skleparis, D. (Accepted/In press). Migrant mobilisation during the economic crisis: identity formation and dilemmas. In M. Tsilimpounidi, & A. Walsh (Eds.), Remapping the crisis: a guide to Athens Ropley, Hampshire.
Karyotis, Georgios ; Skleparis, Dimitris. / Migrant mobilisation during the economic crisis : identity formation and dilemmas. Remapping the crisis: a guide to Athens. editor / Myrto Tsilimpounidi ; Aylwyn Walsh. Ropley, Hampshire, 2013.
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Karyotis, G & Skleparis, D 2013, Migrant mobilisation during the economic crisis: identity formation and dilemmas. in M Tsilimpounidi & A Walsh (eds), Remapping the crisis: a guide to Athens. Ropley, Hampshire.

Migrant mobilisation during the economic crisis : identity formation and dilemmas. / Karyotis, Georgios; Skleparis, Dimitris.

Remapping the crisis: a guide to Athens. ed. / Myrto Tsilimpounidi; Aylwyn Walsh. Ropley, Hampshire, 2013.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

TY - CHAP

T1 - Migrant mobilisation during the economic crisis

T2 - identity formation and dilemmas

AU - Karyotis, Georgios

AU - Skleparis, Dimitris

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N2 - The Greek debt crisis that started to unfold in 2010 has further exacerbated pre-existing tensions between state, citizens and migrants. Against this backdrop, about 300 immigrants originating mostly from the Maghreb countries and residing illegally in Crete, travelled to Athens and Thessaloniki in January 2011 and commenced a hunger strike, which lasted for 44 days. Supported by solidarity groups and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), the hunger strikers put their lives at risk but achieved some concessions from the state with regards to their legal status. This chapter utilises discourse analysis and a set of face-to-face interviews with migrant protesters and organisers of the hunger strike to analyse migrant activism in Greece during the economic crisis. It starts with a broad theoretical overview of framing, linking it to identity and the two dominant, competing frames that apply to immigration policy, the restrictive, realist one and the liberal frame. The following section provides a narrative of the hunger strike and draws on primary interview data to map the ethnic and ideological profile of participants and assess their migrant experience and evaluations of the protest action. The chapter proceeds to explore the framing of the protest movement by analysing its official press releases during and after the action, as well the discourse of supporters and opponents, which, in different ways, challenged or supplemented elements of the projected collective identity. The overall analysis thus offers a comprehensive account of the protest movement, identifies tensions and dilemmas relevant to its attempt to construct a collective identity, and allows for the migrants’ suppressed voices and untold stories to be heard.

AB - The Greek debt crisis that started to unfold in 2010 has further exacerbated pre-existing tensions between state, citizens and migrants. Against this backdrop, about 300 immigrants originating mostly from the Maghreb countries and residing illegally in Crete, travelled to Athens and Thessaloniki in January 2011 and commenced a hunger strike, which lasted for 44 days. Supported by solidarity groups and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), the hunger strikers put their lives at risk but achieved some concessions from the state with regards to their legal status. This chapter utilises discourse analysis and a set of face-to-face interviews with migrant protesters and organisers of the hunger strike to analyse migrant activism in Greece during the economic crisis. It starts with a broad theoretical overview of framing, linking it to identity and the two dominant, competing frames that apply to immigration policy, the restrictive, realist one and the liberal frame. The following section provides a narrative of the hunger strike and draws on primary interview data to map the ethnic and ideological profile of participants and assess their migrant experience and evaluations of the protest action. The chapter proceeds to explore the framing of the protest movement by analysing its official press releases during and after the action, as well the discourse of supporters and opponents, which, in different ways, challenged or supplemented elements of the projected collective identity. The overall analysis thus offers a comprehensive account of the protest movement, identifies tensions and dilemmas relevant to its attempt to construct a collective identity, and allows for the migrants’ suppressed voices and untold stories to be heard.

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Karyotis G, Skleparis D. Migrant mobilisation during the economic crisis: identity formation and dilemmas. In Tsilimpounidi M, Walsh A, editors, Remapping the crisis: a guide to Athens. Ropley, Hampshire. 2013