DiaNEOsis research’s opinions and insights
The diaNEOsis research “What do the Greeks believe?” is a unique attempt to map the perceptions and social sentiments composition of Greek society, to measure attitudes and value concerns, and to control the influence of the current circumstances on the formation of Greek politics and culture. It’s also a fascinating attempt to track the medium-term evolution of beliefs and attitudes across time.
Its findings are important and interesting, owing to its excellent conception and execution, but they take on added significance, because the main body is repeated at regular intervals from 2016 up until the present. After completing its sixth wave, the study now allows for long-term comparisons, allowing researchers to determine which of Greek society’s value choices are stable and which are more susceptible to change. The research’s control period is particularly significant, and it adds value for another very specific reason: it depicts a time in history that was unusually rich in global and Greek political events.
Moreover, we must keep in mind that quantitative research on values, attitudes, mentalities, perceptions, ideological attitudes, and other topics has unique explanatory restrictions. The subject does not reveal any fundamental and unmistakable truth when answering questions describing “what someone believes” or “how someone feels”. The wording, the degree of understanding of the question, and the expectation that the respondent believes there is from them, all these factors influence the respondent’s articulation of their opinion, presentation of their views, and expression of their feelings. In any case, combining questions about beliefs with questions about emotions — specifically, the emotion elicited by listening to specific situations, conditions, institutions, ideas, or people — allows the analyst, as well as the average reader, to overcome interpretative challenges like the ones mentioned above.
More specifically, the research compares with previous important political conjunctures and empirical environments. It also gives us the opportunity to see how the emotional profile of Greek people is formed after great events have overturned the very formation of carefree globalized social narcissism as it had prevailed at the beginning of the 21st century, but also the Greek aspect of middle-class prosperity, who organized the post-government democracy after 1974. The culture of absolute health, of lavish bliss and mental omnipotence, which is now being challenged.
The research takes place in a historical period in which large-scale crises are constantly manifested, affecting both the texture of citizens’ emotions and their daily lives. Other aspects of the social contract, such as the employer state, the concept of national identity, the universality of religious beliefs and participation, etc. seem to be disputed.
Through the research of diaNEOsis, a pro-European and liberal society essentially perceives the threats of our century and turns its gaze to them. This society seeks the reorganization of politicians and seeks the best models of public policy. It wants the state to protect it and to have an equal individual freedom. Citizens, on the other hand, are characterized by anger, insecurity and frustration with women and young people having these feelings more intensely. However, there is still a minimal feeling of self-confidence. Insecurity increased among respondents to the post-war survey in Ukraine.It would be an omission not to mention that individuals themselves have a variety of insecurities about life and, more specifically, the climate crisis and demographic decline. They believe that climate change is having a negative impact on their lives. A typical example is the fires, the floods of previous years and the snowfall in Athens that have troubled and continue to trouble the citizens. Therefore, from the above research, it becomes clear that the optimism and the sense of omnipotence that the Greeks once had, has been transformed into a sense of danger of the 21st century.
From the above data, we realize that indeed our society has changed, the citizens themselves have changed, and our century is particularly dangerous. People now have a variety of worries related to their survival. They are afraid that due to climate change their lives are in danger and are thus occupied by feelings of anxiety and fear. They consider the intervention of politicians necessary, since mainly they have the power and the necessary connections to deal with such critical situations. The investigation is very popular today as citizens, after the start of the war in Ukraine, feel insecure and afraid that something similar and terrible will happen in their country. They do not have confidence and self-confidence and rightfully believe that it is a tool of various political, economic, and social expediencies. The era when the Greeks were carefree has changed. Now, reality is different, and, in one word, it can be characterized asdangerous. But should each one of us think about what they have done, or even better, what they should do to improve the image of our planet and, consequently, our quality of life?
The survey showed that most respondents seemed to be looking for rational ways to deal with the threatening world around them, while the results showed no evidence of old firmly established perceptions, such as return to the drachma or the demand for German compensation. This is because a very large portion of the world has now realized that obsession with the past does not move us forward as a state. We now live in a chaotic, as well as scary world where only with logic will we be able to survive and evolve as individuals and as a society, especially the younger generations who have not lived in times of intense politics (such as the changeover to the euro) and can look at events from a more objective point of view.
According to the results of the research, eight out of ten Greeks believe — some of them with reservations — that the vaccine is an effective means of combating the pandemic, while it seems in the consciousness of the people that science is superior to religion. According to government data, the numbers seem quite realistic, since complete vaccinations are found in 70% of the citizens with 80% having taken at least the first dose. The only point we could make is that we cannot say with certainty that most Greeks got the vaccine because they really believed it would help deal with the pandemic. Many of them were forced directly or indirectly to proceed with their vaccination in order not to be deprived of some rights that the unvaccinated are deprived of. In their conscience, they may think that they were vaccinated for the good of the society, but they also had personal motives.
The next set of questions concern Europe and the will of the Greeks — with large percentages — for partial involvement of Europe in issues related to health, education, defense, and foreign policy of the state. This is most likely related to the Greeks’ distrust of the Greek government regarding its capabilities and its intention to offer solutions to these key issues.
As the following findings show, only 60% of Greeks view positively the participation of Greece in the euro area, while, regarding our participation in the European Union, the percentage rises to 75%. The first percentage is quite small, considering that almost 20 years have passed since our changeover to the euro. However, this percentage is justified if one thinks of the older age groups that answered the questions. Having experienced both situations, they can estimate the value of both currencies and make comparisons, which of course are largely infelicitous since the two monetary values are very different from each other.
The following questions concern the relationship of the respondents with the state. The question was asked to the age group of 17–34 years. When asked what they request from the state, apart from some vague answers, 23.4% ask for a job, opportunities, and incentives, while only 6.3% ask for an allowance. These are logical results, since young people today do not ask for money from the state. This is a generation with an appetite for work but is often underestimated and not paid fairly. This happens, as the article says, because Greece is hit by a family and clientele system, in which the one with the right acquaintances finds a job and not the one who deserves it. It makes perfect sense for young people to ask the state for a chance to prove their worth.
The research alsobalancedsocial modernization and a clear process of liberalization of life as key elements of the national profile that is being formed today. It has a great influence today, since the opinion of the society has changed after the war, and it is more friendly towards the American culture, as at the same time Russia has started to be more a respected power, even though their attack on Ukraine has influenced all of Europe. Lastly, the Swedish democracy is hardly believed to be the best operating nowadays.
In the Greek society, the pattern has changed with extra value being given to the freedom of the individual, according to the cases of sexual abuse, a phenomenon which is thriving in our society. In this issue, a great conflict arises, if the number of sexual abuse cases was always the same or a woman can speak up more easily since the rules of society have changed.
Religion is also affected nowadays due to globalization and the thrive of the technology.People believe more in science than in church like they used to. A significant percentage of 20% declare that they don’t believe in God, which is a huge shift from the past. All these changes show the growth of the society to a freer environment where traditions are no longer the major players. The new more pluralistic society is being noticed andwe are more empathetic to the refuges. The new movement is about the need of self-orientation by the individuals,which is why marriage between a gay couple is supported by the majority, whereas the adoption of a child by a gay couple is still discouraged.
The conclusions that emerge from the research are that the modern society in terms of the European identity of Greece and the participation in the institutions of Europe is condescending and stable in terms of its views. Prolonged bankruptcy, the political dangers of the referendum, the deadly climate disasters, the border (immigration and military) crisis with Turkey, the pandemic, and the possibility of a war economy in an international environment of destabilization and conflict polarization and subsequent sociological crisis of inequalities are all long-term and continuous crises that have cultivated the ground for the development of a modern European and liberal ideology and the elimination of conservatism.
Also, the fact that modern society perceives the dangers does not imply any freedom, nor does it imply national isolation. Remarkable is the social distance between young and old, with an important example that of generation Z (ages 17–24) who did not have time to live an adult life in Greece before the crisis and even from their childhood and adolescence learned to live on the terms of the crisis. To this situation is added the evolution of technology and the development of this generation in a digital world. Generation Z is autonomous and creates a world without specific ideologies, separating itself even from the next generation, the one that is 25–39 years old.
In addition, the spirit of liberalization of society requires a protective state, with respect for individual autonomy that does not seek to influence the decisions of citizens through common rules of coexistence. Finally, a great change is observed in the power of religion, as the wave of secularization of society has recently experienced great growth.
All the above is quite accurate and reflects the true picture of modern society. As members of Generation Z, we experience all the above. The economic-political-environmental crisis in which we grew up as children has created insecurities and has caused usanger and frustration. Still, the religious sector has been shaken since many are those who have lost their faith in religion or never had it, as evidenced by research percentages. Finally, the opinion of modern society regarding public structures such asthe NSS, education, etc. is not a positive thing that fully corresponds to reality, since as citizens we are particularly frustrated by the benefits of the underperforming state. That is why Europe’s involvement in these areas is so warmly welcomed and considered necessary by society.
by Euphoria Team
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