• Who can (not) be Greek? Citizenship, Identity and Belonging among youth of sub-Saharan African background in Athens
  • Papaioannou, Andromachi <1983>


  • M-DEA/01 Discipline demoetnoantropologiche


  • ‘Who can be Greek?’ This was the question posed to the Greek society for the first time before the implementation of the Act 3838 in March 2010 which gave the right to access the Greek citizenship -under specific preconditions- to all children of legal migrants born or schooled in Greece. This change of the Nationality Code in order to include all those children was coincided by the economic crisis resulting into the rise of xenophobia, racism and extreme-right rhetoric. The outcome was the cancellation of the Act 3838 by the State Council in February 2013. Under this particular framework, the notions of identity and belonging formed among the youth of African background in Athens are explored. The ways those youngsters perceive not only themselves but also their peers, their countries of origin and the country they live in, are crucial elements of their self-identification. Researches have shown that the integration of the second generation is highly connected to their legal and social status. However, integration is a rather complex process, influenced and shaped by many variables and multiple factors. It is not linear; therefore, its outcomes are difficult to be predicted. Yet, I argue that citizenship acquisition facilitates the process as it transforms those children from ‘aliens’ to ‘citizens’. How these youngsters are perceived by the majority society and the State is one of the core questions of the research, focusing on the imposed dual ‘otherness’ they are subject to. On the one hand, they have to deal with the ‘otherness’ originating from the migrant status inherited to them by their parents, and on the other with the ‘otherness’ deriving from their different phenotypic characteristics. Race matters and becomes a means of discrimination against youth of African background who are perceived as inassimilable and ‘forever others’.


  • 2013-09-19


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Papaioannou, Andromachi (2013) Who can (not) be Greek? Citizenship, Identity and Belonging among youth of sub-Saharan African background in Athens, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Cooperazione internazionale e politiche per lo sviluppo sostenibile , 24 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6038.