Approaches to Solidarity in Volos, Greece : A Complementary Currency's Case Study

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Title: Approaches to Solidarity in Volos, Greece : A Complementary Currency's Case Study
Alternative title: Approaches to Solidarity : A Complementary Currency's Case Study in Volos, Greece
Author: Antonaki, Marianthi
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, Politiikan ja talouden tutkimuksen laitos
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political and Economic Studies
Helsingfors universitet, Statsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för politik och ekonomi
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2015
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Political Science, Administration and Organisations
Yleinen valtio-oppi, hallinnon ja organisaatioiden tutkimuksen linja
Allmän statslära, förvaltnings- och organisationsforskning
Abstract: This master’s thesis investigates the complementary currency TEM (Local Alternative Unit) operating in the city of Volos, Greece, during 2013-2014. TEM functions on the principles of LETS (Local Exchange Trading Systems) type. The study focuses on the role of solidarity in TEM, as an example of grassroots organisation. A research question seeks the impact of solidary action on the scheme’s members, by examining the experimental housing project which was launched by TEM in 2011. An additional question approaches the different forms of solidarity among the schemes membership and the housing project’s guests, depending on their personal choices, as well as collective decisions. Based on the principles of solidarity, community, and Social and Solidarity Economy, this thesis explores the structural characteristics of TEM. Ethnographic and autoethnographic research methods construct the framework of the project’s analysis, which unfolds by accumulating interviews and participant observation. Various types of solidarity are identified, corresponding to the behavioural interaction between members and guests. The concept of solidarity is found to be voluntary, personal, and diverse, whereas it can appear both as prerequisite and as reaction to change, depending on the circumstances, and influenced by the individual’s sense of community.

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