Χenophobia reflects a deep-rooted form of fear and hostility towards the ‘οther’, who is perceived as a “stranger” (in Greek “xenos”) to the group oneself belongs to. After the 1980s, Europe experienced the rebirth of xenophobia. The sense of threat of the national identity and of the homogeneity of the ethno-cultural community activated and mobilized negative feelings and hostility against the “foreigners”. The Great Recession in 2009 and the deteriorating of the economic conditions in crisis-ridden Europe prepared the fertile ground for a new wave of xenophobia. How have the prejudices and stereotypes about the ‘other’ been shaped over time? And, how does the economic crisis affect these beliefs and perceptions? The XENO@GR project examines the evolution of the phenomenon of xenophobia in the contemporary Greek society from the 1990s onward. The main research puzzle is whether (or not) the phenomenon of xenophobia is an outcome of the recent financial crisis or it comprises a long-lasting social perception deeply rooted in the Greek society. For a detailed overview of the XENO@GR research objectives, please click here.

Prejudices and Stereotypes

How have the prejudices and stereotypes about the ‘other’ been shaped in a historical perspective in Greece taking as a reference point the 1990s when there was a substantial wave of xenophobic tensions against immigrants in GREECE?

Economic crisis

How have the economic crisis, spread in Greece from 2009 onwards, affected this sort of xenophobic attitudes and beliefs?

The basic factor of xenophobic sentiments among Greeks

Does the effect of the economic crisis comprise the basic factor of the rise (or fall) of xenophobic sentiments among Greeks or can we support the hypothesis that this phenomenon has deep roots in the Greek society and the economic crisis has negligible or minor impact on the way Greeks behave against ‘others’ and/or immigrants?

After an extended research and by using a diversity of data sources we have reached to the following results

How ?

Event Analysis
We examine the historical evolution of the xenophobic phenomenon in Greece from the beginning of the 1990s onwards by capturing -in textual data from different sources- event types (e.g. physical attacks, protests) closely connected with immigrant issues and investigating how they were related with possible outbreaks of xenophobic biased message/comment (textual) traffic on the Internet.
Sentiment Analysis
We examine the xenophobic phenomenon in Greece over time and during the economic crisis by tracking and measuring Verbal Aggressiveness (e.g. expressions of intense dislike/aversion, swearing, threats) in Social Media and its dynamics in xenophobia-related topics and events.
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Dimitris Pappas

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