Debt Society: Psychosocial Aspects of the (Greek) Crisis
Crisis is usually discussed in more or less technocratic ways.1 Instead of illuminating what is at stake in it, such a narrow approach rather obscures understanding and limits the scope of meaningful intervention. A psychosocial approach, on the contrary, may be able to contribute to a more reflexive exploration of both the discursive and affective implications of the crisis: of how subjectivity, collective identification and the nature of work are all reshaped and manipulated in debt society. Now, although it was triggered in the US and certainly exhibits global systemic aspects, ‘the crisis’ has become, one way or the other, a predominantly and persistently European crisis. In fact, through its current management, a new Europe is already emerging. This new Europe is torn between a despotic, oligarchic trend emanating from the centre, pushing forward an unprecedented austerity avalanche, on the one hand, and peripheral resistances that often flirt with national(ist) withdrawal or extreme right-wing and even neo-Nazi acting outs, on the other hand; fortunately, some progressive alternatives have also been emerging. If this trend continues unchallenged, Europe runs the danger of returning to its forgotten legacy as a ‘Dark Continent’, to use Mark Mazower’s expression (Mazower, 1999). As we know from psychoanalysis, where there is repression, there is also the return of the repressed; furthermore, this can acquire deeply troubling, symptomatic forms. Thus the imposition of an increasingly sadistic orthopaedics of guilt and demonization is bound to trigger symbolic and affective dynamics beyond any predictable control, something that is already happening as we speak.
Αριστοτέλειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θεσσαλονίκης, Σχολή Οικονομικών και Πολιτικών Επιστημών, Τμήμα Πολιτικών Επιστημών
info:doi/(eds) Kenny, Kate and Fotaki, Marianna
The Psychosocial and Organization Studies: Affect at Work,  σελ.33-59
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