Wit and Greece's economic crisis: ironic slogans, food, and antiausterity sentiments

Daniel M. Knight*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ironic slogans voice opposition to neoliberal austerity measures as people in western Thessaly, Greece, strive to account for dramatically increasing poverty and cultivate a sense of collective suffering in an era of economic crisis. The slogans are pinned to moments of socioeconomic turmoil in recent Greek history, such as the 1941-43 famine and the 1973 polytechnic uprising against military dictatorship. Through satire, they capture local and national attitudes toward the government's current austerity policy and neoliberalism more generally. Drawing on powerful tropes of food, the slogans critique the experiences of neoliberal reform, becoming sites of resistance and solidarity that reframe relations between local people, their government, and international creditors. Ironic slogans voice opposition to neoliberal austerity measures as people in western Thessaly, Greece, strive to account for dramatically increasing poverty and cultivate a sense of collective suffering in an era of economic crisis. The slogans are pinned to moments of socioeconomic turmoil in recent Greek history, such as the 1941-43 famine and the 1973 polytechnic uprising against military dictatorship. Through satire, they capture local and national attitudes toward the government's current austerity policy and neoliberalism more generally. Drawing on powerful tropes of food, the slogans critique the experiences of neoliberal reform, becoming sites of resistance and solidarity that reframe relations between local people, their government, and international creditors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-246
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Ethnologist
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

Keywords

  • Food
  • Greek economic crisis
  • Irony and satire
  • Neoliberalism
  • Slogans
  • Temporality

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