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

The Greek diaspora in Australia: decoupling identity and obligation towards the homeland

Diasporic Greeks in Australia are often hailed as a success story in terms of their ability to maintain Greekness, linkages to Greece and to participate fully in Australian life. This paper will critically discuss this using qualitative research conducted with members of the Greek diaspora in Melbourne and Canberra. In doing so, it will stress that despite strong feelings of Greekness, there are heterogeneous ways to practice and negotiate Greek identity in diaspora and remain connected to Greece. It will also highlight that this identity does not necessarily translate easily into obligation towards the homeland in terms of economic development or mobilisation activities. The paper will discuss the reasons for this and will provide some policy recommendation; these will stress the need for the Greek government to make more effort to connect with, include and use this diaspora's expertise and financial resources more effectively. It will also outline that the diaspora itself needs to be mindful of the reality of generational change, and of ways to ensure younger generations feel included within the diaspora.

Author bio

Dr Elizabeth Mavroudi is a Lecturer in Human Geography at Loughborough University. Her main areas of interest are on transnational migration and diaspora studies, and in particular on diasporic identity, politics and connections with the homeland. She has conducted qualitative research on the Palestinian and Greek diasporas (in Greece and Australia respectively), as well as non-EEA migrant perceptions of UK immigration policy and migrant women's integration and belonging in Athens, Greece. She has just started a new Leverhulme funded research fellowship on young people's politicisation in diaspora, focusing on the Greek, Palestinian and Jewish diasporas. She has published widely on theorising diaspora, diaspora identity, politics and linkages with nationalism. Recent publications include: a paper on diaspora mobilisation during times of crisis, focusing on the Greek and Palestinian diasporas in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (2017); a paper on Mobilising the elective diasporain Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers with Heike Jöns and Michael Heffernan (2015); Timespace and international migration, co-edited with Ben Page and Anastasia Christou with Edward Elgar (2017);Global Migration, co-written with Caroline Nagel with Routledge (2016) andan edited book with Anastasia Christou titled Dismantling diasporas: rethinking the geographies of diasporic identity, connection and development with Ashgate (2015), in which she has written a chapter ondiasporic Greeks in Australia and the potential for homeland-oriented development at a time of economic crisis.
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