Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Social Communication

2 Issues per year

Open Access
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Greek Civil Society’s Online Alternative Networks as Emergent Resilience Strategies in Time of Crisis

Zafiropoulou Maria
  • Dr. Zafiropoulou Maria, Msc in Political Sciences, Msc in Management of social and healthcare organizations in the University of Lille (France) and Phd in Networking social and healthcare organizations (French National School of Public Health and Institute of Administration of Enterprises) is teaching in Greek, Cypriot and Belgian universities. She has been working on several European projects, as a national Greek and French expert. She is interested on solidarity, social and healthcare networks and alternative ways of empowerment vulnerable people during the economic crisis.
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Papachristopoulos Konstantinos
  • Dr. Papachristopoulos Konstantinos is specialized in Organizational and Economic Psychology. He has completed undergraduate studies in both Psychology and Business Administration and postgraduate studies in Cultural Organizations Management, Human Resource Management, and Counseling. He has worked in counseling organizations, human resource management consultants and as a freelancer for cultural services management companies. He has been scientific coordinator for more than ten (10) research and development projects on culture and social policy and has participated in working groups at least twenty-five (25) European Programs. He has over ten years of experience in adult education in courses such as organizational psychology, management of cultural and social services, entrepreneurship and innovation, social networking and communication in organizations.
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-01-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sc-2016-0008


The use of new communications technologies and social media, in Greece, during the time of crisis, has led to the development of numerous online informal Civil Society Networks (CSNs) (i.e. networking-building platforms, self - organized groups in Facebook, forums, exchange platforms) proposing a rethinking of the status quo of formal civil organizations. This research, utilizing the methodology of discourse analysis, aims at summarizing the rise of these networks in Greece that incorporates both solidarity initiatives and autonomous political/economic spaces and identify the indicative predictive factors of their survival and growth. Some basic conclusions that have been drawn through this research is that alternative online networks can be proven as indicative sign of the social dynamism of a given period but in order to be resilient and sustainable they should develop focal points of physical reference, pursue national representation, focus mainly on monothematic goods/services and cultivate, in several cases, links with relevant social movements and local or national NGOs. A general induction through this research is that a CSN, during this current crisis, stands between two classical models of reference in a society seeking modernity and flexibility and can be considered as a proposed type of effective experimentation and mobilization that can pursue common social goals and serve needs of deprived people. Some issues that still remain underexplored and need further elaboration are social and political identity of participants, the potential links with local, national and international communities, the functional balance between structure and flexibility as well as the efficient distribution of energy between solidarity and protest.

Keywords: social media; discourse; Internet; Civil Society Networks


  • AFOUXENIDIS, A. (2015). Civil society in times of Crisis (in Greek) in N. Demertzis, N. Georgarakis, N. (eds.) The political portrait of Greece: Crisis and degradation of Politics, Athens: Gutenberg (pp. 317-336).Google Scholar

  • ALTER, N. (2002), Les logiques d’innovation, Paris, La Découverte.Google Scholar

  • ALTER, N. (2003), Régulation sociale et déficit de régulation, G. de Terssac, La théorie de la régulation sociale de Jean-Daniel Reynaud, Paris, La Découverte, p. 77-88.Google Scholar

  • ALTER, N. (2009), Donner et prendre, la coopération en entreprise, Paris, La Découverte.Google Scholar

  • BOURIKOS, D. (2013). Social Solidarity in Greece in times of crisis: New wave of emergence of civil society or consolidation of fragmented social citizenship?, (in greek), ELIAMEP: Crisis Observatory, Athens.Google Scholar

  • DAY, R. (2005). Gramsci is dead: Anarchist Currents in the Newest Social Movements, London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar

  • FABBES - COSTES N. (2005). La gestion dynamique des supply chains des entreprises virtuelles. Revue Française de Gestion, 31, 156, p. 151-166.Google Scholar

  • FIORAMONTI L., KONONYKHINA O. (2015), Measuring the Enabling Environment of Civil Society: A Global Capability Index, Voluntas, 26(2), pp. 466-487Google Scholar

  • FRAGONIKOLOPOULOS, C. (2014). Politics, the Media and NGOs: The Greek experience, Perspectives on European Politics and Society, 15(4), pp. 606-619.Google Scholar

  • FUCHS, C. (2014) Social Media: A Critical Introduction. London: Sage.Google Scholar

  • HOMER – DIXON T. (2001), The Ingenuity Gap, Toronto, Vintage Canada.Google Scholar

  • HULIARAS A. (2015), Greek Civil Society in Times of Crisis: The Neglected Causes of Weakness in J. Clarke, A. HULIARAS, D. SOTIROPOULOS (eds.), Austerity and the Third Sector in Greece: Civil Society at the European Frontline, London: Ashgate (pp. 9-28).Google Scholar

  • IOSIFIDIS P. (2011). The Public Sphere, Social Networks and Public Service Media’ Information, Communication & Society. 14(5): 619-37.Google Scholar

  • KANTZARA V. (2014), Solidarity in times of Crisis: Emergent Practices and Potential for Paradigmatic Change. Notes from Greece, Studi di Sociologia, 3, pp. 261-280.Google Scholar

  • KOHN M. (2002). Panacea or Privilege? New Approaches to Democracy and Association, Political Theory, 30(2), pp. 289-298.Google Scholar

  • LIVIAN Y.F. (1998). Organisation, Théories et pratiques, Paris: Dunod.Google Scholar

  • LOUKIDOU K. (2013),”Formal and informal civil society associations in Greece: two sides of the same coin?”-Paper for the 6th Hellenic Observatory PhD Symposium on Contemporary Greece and Cyprus, Hellenic Observatory, European Institute, LSE, 6-7 June 2013Google Scholar

  • NADKARNI, A., HOFMANN S.G. (2012). Why do people use Facebook? Personality and Individual Differences, 52(3):243-249.Google Scholar

  • OIKONOMOU C., KAITELIDOU D., KATSIKAS D., SISKOU O., ZAFIROPOULOU M. (2014). Impacts of the economic crisis on access to healthcare services in Greece with a focus on the vulnerable groups of the population, Social Cohesion and Development, 9(2), 99-115.Google Scholar

  • PETROPOULOU, C. (2013). Alternative Networks of Collectivities’ and ‘Solidarity Cooperative Economy’ in Greek cities: Exploring their theoretical origins, Journal of Regional Socio-Economic Issues, 3(2), pp. 61-85.Google Scholar

  • PICARD R.G. (2014). Panel I: The Future of the Political Economy of Press Freedom, Communication Law and Policy, 19(1): 97-107.Google Scholar

  • SIMITI M. (2015). Social Need’ or ‘Choice’? Greek Civil Society during the Economic Crisis, Discussion Paper no. 95, Hellenic Observatory, European Institute, LSE.Google Scholar

  • SOTIROPOULOS D, BOURIKOS D. (2014), Economic Crisis, Social Solidarity and the Voluntary Sector in Greece, Journal of Power, Politics and Governance, 2(2), pp. 33-53.Google Scholar

  • SOTIROPOULOS D. (2004), Formal Weakness and Informal Strength: Civil Society in Contemporary Greece, Discussion Paper no. 16, Hellenic Observatory, European Institute, LSE.Google Scholar

  • SOTIROPOULOS D. (2014), Civil Society in Greece in the Wake of the Economic Crisis, Research Paper, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung & ELIAMEP, Athens.Google Scholar

  • THEODOSSOPOULOS, D. (2014). The Ambivalence of Anti-Austerity Indignation in Greece: Resistance, Hegemony and Complicity. History and Anthropology, 25(4), 488-506.Google Scholar

  • ZAFIROPOULOU M. (2014). Exclusion from Healthcare Services and the Emergence of New Stakeholders and Vulnerable Groups in Times of Economic Crisis: A Civil Society’s Perspective in Greece. Social Change Review, Winter 2014, vol 12 (2) 2): 141-160.Google Scholar

  • ZAFIROPOULOU M. (2015). Theoretical “Regulation-Proximity” model “, Deliverable R-2015-10, project Fragmex, November 2015, Hellenic Open University.Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2017-01-18

Published in Print: 2016-12-01

Citation Information: Social Communication, Volume 2, Issue 2, Pages 6–19, ISSN (Online) 2299-5382, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sc-2016-0008.

Export Citation

© 2016 Zafiropoulou Maria et al., published by De Gruyter Open. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in