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Charalambos Tsekeris, Maria Pinguli, Elpida Georga: Young People’s Perception of Economic Crisis in Contemporary Greece: A Social Psychological Pilot Study

Contemporary Greece is currently in a turbulent process of crisis and recession. Arguably, one segment of the Greek society is experiencing more suffering than most: young people. It is thus of great importance to understand young generation’s needs and attitudes in order to alleviate pain, to build up active inclusion strategies and to enhance civic participation. The present social psychological pilot study aims to show how Greek young adults perceive the current socioeconomic crisis, as well as how they respond to it. It also attempts to demonstrate the complex relationship between individual/collective suffering and the failure (or dismantling) of dominant social structures and institutions. The sample pertains to 253 students, 183 females and 70 males, aged between 18-30 years, nearly half of them unemployed. The duration of the survey was 43 days (December 2014 – January 2015). The tool for data collection was an online questionnaire composed of 19 sections and 131 items, distributed through social media, with participation being voluntary and anonymous. According to the research findings, the majority of the students lack the resources to survive the crisis and financially depend on their families. Yet, feeling committed to the country seems to avert one out of two students from emigration. Most of them feel disappointed but still believe that the Greeks can change the adverse situation through solidarity, cooperation, and volunteerism (albeit their actual engagement in collective social action is limited).

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