Conference - June 22-23, 2018

Homeland-Diaspora Relations in Flux

Greece and Greeks abroad at times of Crisis

St Antony's College, University of Oxford.

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Presenting paper

Greek diaspora interactions between Gastarbeiter and ‘neo-immigrants’ in Germany

Between 1953 and 1973, emigration depleted the modern Greek state by roughly one fifth of its total population. A significant number of those migrants relocated to Germany, which since 1960 is home to a sizeable community of former Gastarbeiter (guest-workers) and their descendants. Following three decades of European Integration and relevant prosperity, the 2009 Greek sovereign debt crisis initiated a new wave of Greek emigration, analogous, yet different to that of the post-War era. Germany remains an attractive destination for Greek expatriates, but in contrast to guest-workers from the 1960s, ‘neo-migrants’ are typically skilled or highly-skilled persons who relocate individually. This paper examines the qualitative attributes of Greek expatriates and ‘neo-migrants’ in Germany and compares them to those of former guest-workers; furthermore, this paper compares the narratives of Gastarbeiter to those of European expatriates. Finally, the perceptions of Greek expatriates for the established Greek community in Germany are looked into, as well as the individual and collective efforts of the Greek community and institutions to help and ease their socioeconomic integration.

Author bio

Eleni Tseligka has a PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences and has been a Lecturer of Politics at Staffordshire University from 2013 to 2016 and from 2017 she works at the University’s Academic Development Unit. Prior to that she was employed in vocational education and has more than a decade of teaching experience. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and the Modern Greek Studies Association, as well as a member of editorial board for the Cogent Arts & Humanities. Her research interests focus on Diasporas, migration and EU migration policies, religion and identity related issues, nationalism and the European public sphere; she has presented and published numerous papers and articles on the above topics.
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