The “Greek Crisis” in Europe

Race, Class and Politics


The “Greek Crisis” in Europe: Race, Class and Politics, critically analyses the publicity of the Greek debt crisis, by studying Greek, Danish and German mainstream media during the crisis’ early years (2009-2015). Mass media everywhere reproduced a sensualistic “Greek crisis” spectacle, while iterating neoliberal and occidentalist ideological myths. Overall, the Greek people were deemed guilty of a systemic crisis, supposedly enjoying lavish lifestyles on the EU’s expense. Using concrete examples, the study foregrounds neoorientalist, neoracist and classist stereotypes deployed in the construction and media coverage of the Greek crisis. These media practices are connected to the “soft politics” of the crisis, which produce public consensus over neoliberal reforms such as austerity and privatizations, and secure debt repayment from democratic interventions.

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Yiannis Mylonas, Ph.D (2009), University of Copenhagen, is Assistant Professor at the School of Media, National Research University Higher School of Economics, in Moscow.
List of Figures and Tables

1Introduction: The Study of the Greek Economic Crisis in Europe through the Media
 1.1Contextual Issues, Critical Political Economy and Cultural Studies
 1.2European Mass Media as the Empirical Material of the Study
  1.2.1 A Brief Excursion on Liberalism and its Discontents
  1.2.2 Greek, Danish and German Liberal Press
 1.3On Method: Thematic Analysis, Discourse Theory Analysis, Critical Discourse Analysis
  1.3.1 The Relevance of Discourse Theory
  1.3.2 Critical Discourse Analysis Perspectives
 1.4The Analytical Pillars: Race, Class, Politics
  1.4.1 On Race Remainders: An “Eternal” Greece
  1.4.2 On Class Class Privilege
  1.4.3 Theorizing (Post)Politics
 1.5An Outline of the Chapters to Follow

2Greek Crisis, Eurozone Crisis, Global Capitalist Crisis
 2.1Setting the “Greek Crisis” in Perspective
 2.2A Crisis of Capitalism and Capitalist Crises: A Brief Excursion to Marxian Analyses
 2.3Crisis and Restructuring: Neoliberalism, Globalisation, Financialisation
 2.4The Greek Crisis as a Symptom: Centre and Periphery Divisions
 2.5The EU, the Euro, and Austerity
 2.6Debt, Restructuring and Primary Accumulation
 2.7Concluding Remarks: Understanding Capitalism as Religion

3The “Greek Crisis” in the Media: Hegemony, Spectacle and Propaganda
 3.1Media Aspects
 3.2Political Communication and the Public Sphere
 3.3Understanding Hegemony
  3.3.1 The “Greek Crisis” in the Media: A Critical Overview
  3.3.2 Hegemony, Propaganda and Biopolitics
 3.4Spectacular Dimensions of the “Greek Crisis”
 3.5Concluding Remarks: Interpellating and Disciplining the Working Class

4A Cultural Failure: Reification, Orientalism, Nationalism
 4.1Introduction: (I)liberal Uses of Culture
 4.2Hegemonic Constructions of the (Occidental) Self and the (Oriental) Other
 4.3Greece as a non/quasi-European Other
  4.3.1 The Culturalisation of Greece and its Crisis
  4.3.2 Greece as a Commodity: Media Rituals to Sustain Ideological Myths
  4.3.3 Nationalism, Narcissism, Anxiety: Europe as a Panopticon and a Benchmark
 4.4Concluding Remarks: The Occident, the Orient and the Liberal Meritocracy Cult

5Under a Middle-Class Gaze
 5.1Governing Inequality
 5.2The Middle-Class Gaze and the Media
 5.3“The Loser” as a Master Class Frame
 5.4The Greek Crisis and the Construction of “Losers”
  5.4.1 The Irrational: Ignorant, Irresponsible, and Frustrated
  5.4.2 The Immoral: Lazy, Profligate, Deceitful and Bankrupt
  5.4.3 The Threatening Other: Resentment, Spite, and Loath
  5.4.4 Idealising the Bourgeois; the Enduring Myths of a Peripheral Upper Class
 5.5Concluding Remarks: Reaction, Diversion, Division

6Exceptionalising the Crisis, Normalising Austerity
 6.1Technocratic Politics
 6.2Establishing the Crisis and Austerity Publicly in Depoliticised Terms
  6.2.1 The Eurozone Crisis as an Apocalyptic Spectacle: Mediatised States of Exception
  6.2.2 Naturalizing Austerity; the Only Solution (Without an Alternative)
  6.2.3 The “Extreme Center” and Constructions of “Realism”
 6.3Concluding Remarks: Authoritarian Capitalism with Fascist Dispositions

7Conclusions: Context, Politics, Negativity
 7.1Reinventing Critique, Reinventing Politics
 7.2Debunking Hegemony’s Crisis’ Myths
 7.3The Making of Regimes of Entitlement: Class is at the Heart of the Matter
 7.4Capitalism is Apocalyptic: Politicizing the Crisis, Austerity, the “Free Market”, and the (Capitalist) Economy
 7.5Negativity and Utopia

All interested in the politics of the Eurozone/Greek crisis and those working with critical theory and discourse analysis of media and culture; also, those studying neoliberal biopolitics and propaganda today.
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