Refugees’ Social Integration into Greece: Narrations and Representations



Since 2015, certain historical and social contexts created the conditions for the reception of a large number of refugees and immigrants by the European south. These people fled their country of origin mainly because of civil and national armed conflicts, political instability and, consequently, the abolition or absence of the rule of law.

In particular, Greece accepted a significant number of those who were pushed into forced migration for the above reasons from Asia, and mainly, Syria. Specifically, Syrian peoples not only submitted most of the asylum applications in Greece from 2013 (the year of the start of the asylum applications examination) until 2018, but presented, in contrast to other nationalities, the highest rate of recognition as beneficiaries of international protection. Consequently, it is expected that many of them will be residing in Greece for a long term, along with the indigenous population, highlighting a key political and social issue; their participation in the major institutional social structures and everyday social reality.

In light of the above realities, and taking into account the need to understand the social underpinnings, stimuli and attitudes of refugee populations and rational integration policies, the following research project is planned; The research project is jointly conducted by the National Center for Social Research and the Center for the Study of Crime. It aims at the study of the subjective meanings that refugees themselves attribute to their migration experience and their transition from one society to another and the extend they (feel that) they are part of an integration process into the Greek society. Our research was conducted in the Athens (capital) area and our research population was identified among refugees from Syria inhabiting Athens.

This research will explore, through conducting qualitative personal interviews, in the context of understanding sociology and cultural theoretical approaches; how do people who have recently arrived in the country transition from one social landscape to another? How do they experience their indeterminate reception and stay? What do Greece and Europe mean to them? What are their stimuli and their relationship to what is (or is defined as) permitted or not, legal or illegal, even in different contexts?

Given that in Greece there is very little bibliography of relevant content, these investigations are expected to contribute new and in-depth knowledge to the above issues.


Research is currently not funded.


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