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Solidarity Economy in Contemporary Greece ‘Movementality’, Economic Democracy and Social Reproduction during Crisis

Chapter 8 Economy For and Against Democracy, edited by Keith Hart

Theodoros Rakopoulos, October 2015

Read the complete document on: www.academia.edu

Summary :

This book chapter is an ethnography of a vibrant social movement that spread throughout crisis-ridden Greece from early 2012 onwards. It draws from fieldwork pursued in 2012 and tells the story of the Greek solidarity economy by focusing on one successful case study of a group in this movement.

The research was carried out in a working class suburb of Athens, struggling with the fierce effects of austerity. Activists mobilised around food distribution and organised impromptu markets, so that local food producers could sell their products directly to consumers without the costly mediation of middlemen. The chapter shows the inner workings of these emerging practices, and how the latter changed people’s everyday lives. It also provides an important angle on the bigger picture, that is, the development of the solidarity economy during the Greek crisis.

Drawing from local idioms, ‘movementality’ is identified as the central concept that captures the activities of participants in the solidarity economy. The term links political education and social mobilisation with the material moral economies of food distribution in the crisis. This chapter also tries to shed some light on grassroots economies often hidden from sight.