The Causal Powers of Social Change: the Case of Modern Greek Society
This article provides an empirical exploration of social change, by assessing subjective experiences and evaluations in relation to social alterations in Modern Greek society. The investigation concerns whether change in everyday life deriving from the Greek crisis also involves an alteration in the ways that Greeks perceive and consider social reality and themselves within it. This article supports the view that social change is related to agency in terms of reflexivity and that Greeks have contributed to social change through the alteration in their ways of thinking and behaving. Participants reported that practices, norms and mentalities inherited by previous generations are no longer helpful. Customs (such as clientelism) and mentalities (such as prioritizing the personal over the collective interest) must now change and be reformed as the new reality demands different ways of thinking and rapid adaptation to a new way of living which has become economically restricted and politically unstable. In this sense, Greeks are becoming reflexive towards the present situation and themselves within it and critical towards the past and future, as they consider what part of the older generation’s established mentalities to retain and what aspects of their way of living will alter.
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