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Socioeconomic crisis, YouTube and young people in Greece: A cultural-historical perspective Manolis Dafermos (University of Crete) Sofia Triliva (University.

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Presentation on theme: "Socioeconomic crisis, YouTube and young people in Greece: A cultural-historical perspective Manolis Dafermos (University of Crete) Sofia Triliva (University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Socioeconomic crisis, YouTube and young people in Greece: A cultural-historical perspective Manolis Dafermos (University of Crete) Sofia Triliva (University of Crete) Christos Varvantakis (University of Sussex)

2 Social crises in Greece Complex and multifaceted crises that have taken hold in Greece “humanitarian crisis” (Dalakoglou, 2013), “healthconomic crisis” (Williams & Maruthappu, 2013) “a failed experiment on the people” (McKee, Karanikolos, Belcher, & Stuckler, 2012, p. 346), Social crises as natural experiments (Elder, 1974).

3 A “lost generation” (Malkoutzis, 2011) or a “sacrificed generation” (Castelani, 2012). Agamemnon’s sacrifice of his daughter Iphigenia. The young generation sacrificed: social, economic, and political implications of the financial crisis “….…the young generation in Europe is disproportionally hit by unemployment, underemployment, poverty and exclusion. This is nothing less than a tragedy in the making (Resolution 1885, Council of Europe, 2012).

4 Theoretical Framework Cultural-historical theory applied to inquire into the origin and development of higher mental functions (Veresov, 2010). Development is a fundamental concept in cultural historical theory. Development is not a linear process or a progression from lower to higher stages, it is a contradictory process. There is an inherent dialectical relationship between progression and regression; Vygotsky focused mainly on the progressive development of higher mental functions.

5 Theoretical Framework mediator that enables subjects to become masters of their own behavior Sign processes of active searching and finding a sign Mediating activity indivisible unity of personal characteristics and situational characteristics Perezivanie the interaction of ideal (developed) and real (present) forms as specific features of mental development Ideal and real forms major shift associated with transformation of the social situation of development Crisis the distance between the actual developmental level and the level of potential development ZPD

6 Research aims To examine how the current social crisis in Greece is talked about and visually presented by youth on the YouTube landscape. By multimodally analyzing youth’s YouTube videos from the perspective of cultural historical theory, we will attempt to shed light on the processes and the outcomes involved in youth’s psychological development within Greece’s crises ridden context.

7 Research Questions 1. How is the social world presented in young people’s video productions? 2. What are the relational potentialities internalized by young people that currently define aspects of their development? 3. How are Greek adolescents’ personal crisis impacted by the crises in their social milieu? 4. Are young people promoting their own development by creating and using cultural signs in such a milieu? 5. How are youth using video-making as a developmental tool and as mediating activity?

8 Filtering the Research Material We thoroughly reviewed the material and decided upon a set of criteria that we would employ in filtering out the less relevant videos: The videos that we would use, should be: made between the years 2008 and 2012 made by young people directly or metaphorically addresses the issue of the economic crisis in Greece are in the public domain [i.e. uploaded in YouTube]

9 titleVideo description 1 Dreams under Occupation Genre: ‘Dramatic Production’ “The film shows the extreme pressure that teenagers 2 KAV 3132 Genre: Film & Narration “In the anxiety-provoking context that the economic crisis has created in Greece, young people problematize and seek ways out.” 3 Young people talk about Greece in the throes of Crisis Genre: Reportage “The aim of the video is not only for youth’s voices to be heard but also to provoke problematization in the viewers, who are invited to answer the questions posed.” 4 Greek financial crisis: youth react Genre: Sousveilance Youth react: Multimedia assignment 5 News broadcasts are severely harm your health Genre: Reportage It focuses on the discourses and methods in presenting the economic crisis.

10 Multimodal analysis Using different modes -sets of socially and culturally shaped resources such as image, writing, speech, gesture, gaze to make meaning of and in this world (Jeff Bezemer & Carey Jewitt, 2010)

11 Multimodal analysis actionsmovementscamera movementimage, written or spoken language,visual and musical socio-cultural referencesnarrative account of the visual, auditory and symbolic textual materials,dialogical narrative of the meanings-connotations, interpretations, understandings-presented by the filmmakers and the commentators comments and numerical indicators of ‘re-readings’ from the web concerning the text

12 Codebook categories and sub-categories

13 Focusing on 1) the cultural historical elements found in the protocols 2) the experiencing categories and codes, and 3) the interrelationships, convergence and interaction of the themes ALL of this using Vygotskian theoretical tenets

14 YouTube postings of an occupied social world: experiencing the crises ridden milieu Videos represent how young people become aware, interpret, and emotionally and cognitively relate to the deep social crises taking place in their cultural and social landscape. Personal experiencing of the social drama of Greece. Georgos: "Greeks are undergoing a slow economic death, where the average Greek has been transformed to a contemporary economic slave." The tomb of N.Kazantakis with the epigram: "I do not hope for anything, I am not afraid of anything, I am free.“ freedom without fear and without hope

15 Greece: A country for sale Kostas: "It will be a colony, colonized and I hope it is still called Greece". The debt crisis has been used by banks, the IMF, and the European Union as a modern instrument yielding enslavement.

16 Young people’s lives have been occupied ‘outside’ surveillance predominates everyday life. There is a homogenization of their being and subjectivity. The students march in unison in school Pawns being sacrificed on a chessboard and as dominoes crumbling down one by one.

17 “Buds” and “flowers” The devaluation of ideal social forms as a result of the demise of social institutions, individualization and fragmentation of social life which appears to have created a vacuum in adolescents’ development. In this ‘title scene’ a confrontation between colored, blossoming flowers and the black reality. Blossoming flowers in Greek culture are equated with youth and young people’s ability to grow, flourish, and become what their potential allows them to be. Cultural-historical theory: the principle of “buds” and “flowers” depicts the process of development of mental functions. The image of “buds” refers to function that have not yet developed but are in the process of development. The image of “flowers” to functions that will develop but they are currently in an embryonic state (Veresov, 2014).

18 Crumbling potentialities Youth talk about their lives as having been taken over by hopelessness, fear, insecurity, and a sense that the values and institutions that comprised Greek society are no longer means of support for them. They see their social world tumbling down in front of their eyes and find it hard to dream, make plans, and hope for a better future.

19 A blanket condemnation of school, mass media, politicians, the economic powerbrokers, etc. Authority figures are experienced as oppressive and demoralizing. Giannis:"It is foolish to convene a military regime / hounda with tanks, when there is television"

20 Alienated, repetitive activity in school Students are required to mechanically grasp, memorize and reproduce information. The endless and repetitive activities take away their voice, ability to communicate with each other, creative potential, and perhaps subjectivity.

21 Imposing meaningless routines- homogenization of the relationships Young people’s lives have been occupied by pointless and meaningless routines imposed by teachers and schools (the official pedagogues). The formalization and homogenization of relatedness potentials within school. The set of relationships that create the ZPD of young people have been debunked.

22 Occupation of young people’s lived experience ‘Occupation’ of the social world lead to occupation of the life world and the mind of young people. Generation of young people clearly depict how they have been sacrificed. The conflict between the young people's imaginary and their actual role behavior acquires dramatic dimensions in the context of the social crises

23 “Dreams under occupation” “I have no future plans. There is no future. I cannot think of the future, there is no present, how could there be a future?” "We do not have the right to lead our lives". "We need to take the control of our lives in our own hands.” Their dreams, future, prospects, aspirations, motivations, and aims have been occupied. “Let us dream our future” Signed: school students

24 Hypnagogia The mental life of the adolescents is characterized by "the rapprochement between fantasy and thinking”. During adolescence daydreams take up “the middle ground between a real dream and abstract thought" (Vygotsky, 1994d, p.273). "It amounts to a creative dream vision which is conceived by the adolescent’s imagination and which he experiences when awake" (Vygotsky, 1994d, p.273). Hypnagogia as transitional state between wakefulness and sleep, "threshold of consciousness”

25 Mass media is equated to ‘a blackened’ psyche The girl turns on the television and is watching/ listening to: Jose Barosso: there is not 'Plan B' for Greece, ‘tough austerity measures’ will be taken, since there is no alternative. Young people are trapped without choices Another adolescent in the video: “The news broadcasts harm your health” states: “I turn on the television and it turns my psyche black.” The social drama of Greece through the personal drama of a young girl.

26 Death. Is there an alternative? Greeks in a casket…Suicides

27 Developmental tools and mediating activity Creating and sharing videos as a kind of creative collaborative mediating activity of young people. The stone with the inscription KAV 31-32 serves as a cultural sign that helps girl solve the problem "... the key to controlling behavior lies in controlling stimuli. We cannot master our own behavior except through appropriate stimuli" (Vygotsky, 1997b, p.210). Vygotsky "a voluntary action begins only where one controls one's own behavior with the help of symbolic stimuli" (Vygotsky, 1987, p.36).

28 Developmental tools and mediating activity in the networked realm of youth’s lives Reading Kavafi’s Constantine Cavafy’s (1863-1833) poem the young girl understands the historical and societal meaning of the current crisis in Greece.

29 “In a Large Greek Colony, 200 B.C.” That things in the Colony are not what they should be no one can doubt any longer, and though in spite of everything we do go forward, maybe—as more than a few believe— the time has come to bring in a Political Reformer. … Also, they have a liking for sacrifice: Get rid of that property; your owning it is risky: properties like those are exactly what ruin colonies. Get rid of that income, and the other connected with it, and this third, as a natural consequence: they are substantial, but what can one do? the responsibility they create for you is damaging. And as they proceed with their investigation, they find an endless number of useless things to eliminate— things that are, however, difficult to get rid of. And when, all being well, they finish the job, every detail now diagnosed and sliced away, and they retire, also taking the wages due to them—it will be a miracle if anything’s left at all after such surgical efficiency. Maybe the moment has not yet arrived. Let’s not be too hasty: haste is a dangerous thing. Untimely measures bring repentance. Certainly, and unhappily, many things in the Colony are absurd. But is there anything human without some fault? And after all, you see, we do go forward.

30 Conclusions Social crisis as a "natural experiment" (Vygotsky, 1997b, p.227). During social crises tendencies towards distorted development are reinforced as a result of disintegration of social relations. The collapse of dreams, prospects, aspirations and ideal forms for young people destroys the potential of their development. In the midst of social crises the process development from "buds" to "flower" is blocked. Individualization and fragmentation of social life destructs (damages) the ZPD for new generations.

31 Conclusions Young people are actively looking for cultural signs that will allow them to understand their current situation and cope with the challenges the crisis brings forth. Young people as active agents are searching new ways to react, protest, develop. Making videos and sharing them on YouTube becomes creative mediating activity. From being slaves within their environment young people become "masters of their own behavior" (Vygotsky, 1978) looking for ways to resist enslavement.

32 Literature Bezemer, J. & Jewitt, C. (2010). Multimodal Analysis: Key issues. In L. Litosseliti (Ed.), Research Methods in Linguistics (pp. 180-197). London: Continuum. Elder, G. (1974). Children of the Great Depression. Social Change in life experience. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press. Veresov, N. (2010a). Introducing cultural historical theory: main concepts and principles of genetic research methodology. Cultural- historical psychology, 4, 83-90. Veresov, N. (2014). Refocusing the lens on Development: Towards Genetic Research Methodology. In M. Fleer & A. Ridgway (Eds), Visual Methodologies and Digital Tools for Researching with Young Children Transforming Visuality (pp.129-149) London: Springer. Vygotsky, L. (1997b). The history of the development of higher mental functions. In R. Rieber, & J. Wolloc (Eds.), The Collected works of L.S.Vygotsky (Vol.4, pp.1-252). New York, London: Plenum Press. Vygotsky, L. (1994d). Imagination and creativity of the adolescent. In R. Veer & J.Valsiner (Eds.), The Vygotsky Reader (pp.266-288). Oxford: Blackwell.

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