The events that occurred in December 2008 in Greece were unprecedented in scope, size, duration, and extent in the use of violence, while also being unexpected not only by the state but also by social movement actors. In spite of the importance of the December events, however, the factors that shaped them remain largely unclear. This paper examines the interpretations suggested so far and argues that the overlooked factor of value change among young Greeks played a crucial role in the making of December 2008. Drawing upon the data of the Eurobarometer and the World Values Survey, I show that values are changing fast in Greece towards post-materialism, meaning more emphasis on the quality of life rather than material well-being, and argue that the December events, especially their most creative side, can be best explained in the context of post-materialism. An analytical framework that places emphasis on the discursive formation of the activist subjects rather than on the abstract political/economic causes of the uprising not only provides a better understanding of the events but also relates them to political developments in their aftermath.


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pp. 293-316
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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