An ethnography of ethics and crisis: Greek neoliberal politics of health in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis

Green, S. (Opponent)

Aktivitet: ExaminationstyperOpponent i doktorsavhandling


This thesis draws on ethnographic fieldwork that I carried out in Athens between September 2015 and January 2017. It focuses on how the practices and practicalities of care have been reconfigured during nearly a decade of economic austerity, and suggests that new modes of medicalisation of care have arisen at the convergence of the neoliberal restructuring of the state and the emergence of solidarity initiatives. Since 2010, an increasing number of solidarity and grassroots initiatives have monopolised the Greek medical landscape. In the aftermath of the first round of structural adjustments linked to the memorandum proposed by the Troika [ECB, EC, and IMF] in May 2010, almost three million Greek citizens have increasingly found their medical needs unmet; funds for the public healthcare system were severely reduced, and access to healthcare resources was made conditional on either insurance or individual economic capacity. As a consequence, the number of Greek nationals admitted, cared for and cured outside the official locations of care increased dramatically. At the time of my fieldwork, 28 social clinics of solidarity were located in Athens, working to provide uninsured citizens with basic medical care and primary healthcare services. Building on the ethnographic material I collected in one of these social clinics of solidarity, located on the southern outskirts of Athens, I describe how the clinic worked at the border of state institutions and kinship, and often unintentionally served as a catalyst for patients’ complaints and contestations towards state institutions. In particular, this thesis proceeds by tracing social trajectories, political meanings and local understandings of pharmaceuticals, and their role in shaping new subjects of care, and new modes of economic, social and medical dependency. As I will demonstrate, different modes of care were reconfigured around pharmaceuticals.
Period25 mar 2019
ExaminandLetizia Bonanno
Examination vidUniversity of Manchester