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Title: Culture, identity and the liberal nation-state : exploring 'difference' & the possibility of change through the 'hard case' of Greece
Author: Efstathiou, Anna
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis sets out to enrich theoretical understanding of culture and identity in times when both concepts have resurfaced with increased potency both in relevant theoretical literature and in contestation over social and political action. The intractability in the real world of problems associated with culture and identity is reflected in impasses in theoretical understanding. This study was nourished by the belief that there were a better understanding of the persistence of culture and ‘difference’ as sources of theoretical, social and political puzzlement to be developed; the intimate links between theory and practice in matters of culture and identity would need to be revaluated and those areas of theory with such concepts at their heart might be fruitfully reconsidered. Hence in this thesis a grounded theory approach to the study of difference in a particular context was chosen, with theories of the nation and aspects of the liberal theoretical framework setting the theoretical background for an illustrative case-study. The case chosen here is that of Greece, a ‘hard case’ both for theoretical understanding and for social change. In this thesis, the complexity surrounding that specific context is brought into ever sharper focus, with each level of analysis revealing different aspects of the issues under consideration. First, important historical developments are presented, followed by an exploration of how those developments reveal the genesis and perpetuation of dominant discourses of Greekness. Within contemporary Greece, the institution of the Cultural Olympiad was selected as a pertinent environment in which to explore the current development of dominant ‘national’ discourses of identity. The substantive argument is advanced that change my be inherent within specific environments themselves (and should not simply be seen as a possible result of contact between differing transitions). Furthermore, if change inheres within a tradition, attitudes to ‘difference’ may also be open to internal negotiation and positive modification.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available