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Political Genealogies of a Generation: Kin, Movement and Party in the Greek Diaspora

Political Genealogies of a Generation: Kin, Movement and Party in the Greek Diaspora

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Title: Political Genealogies of a Generation: Kin, Movement and Party in the Greek Diaspora
Author: Pendakis, Katherine Laura
Abstract: This dissertation is about the struggle of one generation of men in the Greek diaspora to come to terms with––and act within––political genealogies that had shaped their everyday lives since childhood and with which they remain in an ongoing relation of (dis)identification today. The Greek civil war (1946-1949) had bestowed upon these men an inheritance of polarized associations: nationalism, religiosity, order, on the one hand, and anti-Greek communism, on the other. Their childhood and adolescence in the post-civil war years were shaped by state practices that polarized the Left from the Right. By the time of the dictatorship in 1967, which was the catalyst for many to leave, families in Greece had experienced decades of institutionalized marginalization. The focus here is on the intersection of this legacy with the political activities and sensibilities of those who arrived in Toronto and mobilized themselves against the Greek regime.

While the anti-dictatorship movement they created was originally heterogeneous, it became concentrically organized around the Panhellenic Liberation Movement (PAK) and the leadership of Toronto-based professor Andreas Papandreou. After the fall of the dictatorship in 1974, PAK became the foundation for a new political party, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), with Andreas Papandreou as leader once again. Emerging as the hegemonic articulation of the left, PASOK became the first socialist party to govern Greece in 1981. Practically speaking, this meant that those anti-junta activists returning to Greece from Canada after the fall of the dictatorship found themselves navigating opportunities and trajectories that would have been inconceivable just a few years prior.

The problem to be investigated in this dissertation is twofold: First, to what extent does the civil war have a legacy in the narratives of men who migrated to Canada in the 1960s and 1970s and how is this expressed? Second, how are political subjectivities constructed in these accounts from the vantage point of the ambiguous present-as-crisis? These questions are approached through ethnographic observations and interviews with those who were involved in the anti-dictatorship movement and either stayed in Toronto or returned to Greece after the fall of the military junta.
Subject: Sociology
European studies
Canadian studies
Keywords: Greek diaspora
Political file
Politics of kinship
Greek left
Political categories
Political genealogy
Political inheritance
Greek dictatorship
Anti-junta movement
Return migration
Greek Crisis
Political migrant
Greek civil war
Ethnography of the left
Type: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Rights: Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/30083
Supervisor: Nijhawan, Michael
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Program: Sociology
Exam date: 2015-04-07
Publish on: 2015-08-28

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