A Genealogy of Sinergatismos: The Greek Prodigal Child of a Translated Social Solidarity Economy

Authors: Georgios Melissourgos*,
Topics: Social Theory, Qualitative Research, Field Methods
Keywords: sinergatismos, social solidarity economy, Greece, CoOpenair Festival, genealogy
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 39
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The multifaceted crisis of the previous decade can be perceived as the beginning of a liminal period for the Greek society. Especially during the early years of the Greek government-debt crisis, diverse alternative economic and political spaces were emerging as viable alternatives. Among various discourses, Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) had played the role of a floating signifier by articulating diverse, and even contradictory, discourses among academics, practitioners and policy-makers. Following the translation of SSE into laws by the state, a portion of the grass-root initiatives struggled over the meaning of SSE and consequently decided to move beyond this translation by co-creating a new concept, sinergatismos, articulating the untranslatable part of SSE. On the one hand, sinergatismos has been greatly disseminated among SSE initiatives, but on the other hand, too little has yet been discussed among academics. Based on this absence, this paper aims to unveil the emergence of sinergatismos by writing down its history of the present, via a political genealogy/intergenealogy of ten initiatives that were part of the co-organization of CoOpenAir Festival – Festival of Sinergatismos for two successively years. Since its beginning, this festival has been an instrument both for sinergatismos’ dissemination to the wider public and for the creation of network(s) and infrastructures among diverse initiatives from all over Greece. A festival showcasing that sinergatismos is not limited only to the provision of decent work to the members/employees of an initiative, but also has greater aspirations for social change regardless the ongoing uncertain and difficult circumstance

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