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Contributions to Balkan Ethnography

Peklari

 

Social economy in a Greek village

Peklari is characterised by a kind of “experiential sustainability” combined with social egalitarianism. The whole system ensures the possibility of self-sufficiency as well as security through the alternative possibilities of production, as the household does not depend on just one crop. Local societies adapt to the elements of the natural environment on which they depend but they also adapt it to their needs in such a way as to ensure that the available resources do not run out. Moreover, in time, ways out of economic and demographic difficulties are found, so that the equilibrium in local systems is not put at risk. Technical specialisation, mobility or even migration provide such solutions.

Vassilis Nitsiakos is Professor in the Department of History and Archaeology, at the University of Ioannina, Greece.


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The "Right to Return" and the meaning of "Home"

 

A post Soviet Greek diaspora becoming European?

How do people who were part of an extant socioeconomic and political system adapt in another world order? This book ethnographically addresses the two complementary processes of Pontic Greeks' ethnic displacement over a century: diaspora and repatriation. Longitudinal data is employed to argue that the concept of 'repatriation' should be construed as 'affinal', in the sense of 'return to each other', rather than 'return to a place'. The book documents the impact of multiple persecutions under Stalinism on the formation of a Soviet Greek collective identity. It explores the meaning of 'repatriation' and the emergence of a European identity as an option. The acquisition of this novel identity becomes a privilege entailing the right to move across and within the borders of Europe.

Eftihia Voutira is Professor in the Department of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies at the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece

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On the border

 

Transborder Mobility, Ethnic Groups and Boundaries on the Albanian-Greek Frontier

The flow of emigrants from Albania to Greece, Being one-sided, indicates a relation of inequality between the two countries. Indeed, the violence with which the collapse of the regime is effected and the subsequent opening of the border and the, as a rule, undocumented way of entering Greece, makes this relation even more asymmetrical and places the moving ones in a much more powerless position, as they live and work illegally: their “Outlaw” status deprives them of all rights. Legalisation improves their position but does not cancel the structural inequality that characterises the phenomenon of immigration any way, as well as the quality of the immigrant. In any case, the effort of the immigrants to prevent aspects of identity that would facilitate their position and residence (proofs of Greek roots or Christian faith, changes of names,etc) demonstrates, precisely, how they experience this unequal relationship, which is further aggravated by factors pertaining to their otherness.

Vassilis Nitsiakos holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge (England) and is Professor at the University of Ioannina (Greece)

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