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Title: The reproduction of the Greek nautical ethos through education and practical training
Author: Sideris, Ioannis
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis is an ethnographic study tracing the facts, the meanings, and their translations that make apparent the interconnections between an educational institution, a professional world, and a particular type of social network. The educational institution is the Merchant Marine Academy of Greece; the professional world is that of the Greek seafarers working on board Greek-owned merchant ships; the social network is what I call a Greek maritime 'nepotistic' network. The problem this research pinpoints is the need to identify, describe, analyse, and interpret the role that Greek maritime education plays in reproducing the Greek shipping community beyond the transfer of technical skills required by the profession. My thesis can thus be schematized as the ethnography of an educational institution, the Merchant Marine Academy, coupled with an ethnographic account of the link that unites it with two culture-sharing groups, Greek seafarers and shipping-related entrepreneurs. That link is identified as the 'Greek nautical ethos', or naftosini, meaning 'the human quality of being a good (Greek) seafarer'. My overarching research question can thus be stated as follows: How does Greek maritime education reproduce the Greek nautical ethos (: naftosini)? The internal arrangements of the Greek maritime (nepotistic) networks are often discreet; nonetheless, they are real, and they have very practical consequences. Within these networks, people choose to associate with others who are similar to themselves in some salient respect, thus creating a culturally embedded network. Moreover, the informing influence of ethos results in the organisational upholding and moral sustainability of such networks. Amongst the notable findings of this research is that education and training at the Merchant Marine Academy is interwoven with and constantly informed by a dominant ethos that, in its tum, is constantly interacting with the individual habituses of its members. Another interesting fInding is that students who, thanks to their upbringing, already share the core values of nafiosini are better suited for being transformed into seafarers who are well integrated into the profession and willing to stay in it for the entirety of their career. As a final conclusion of this research, I argue that the Greek nautical ethos assures both the cultural homogenisation and the cohesion of Greek communities of practice related to shipping, while at the same time ensuring the effective screening of candidates to membership in these communities as well as the entire network.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available