Exploring the connection between Structure and Agency within the context of the Greek Crisis Generation.

Athanasia Chalari

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review


The study of structure and agency forms an ongoing fundamental question in Social Theory. Various approaches have been produced and the ultimate sociological problem deriving of these discussions regards the prevalence (or not) of the structure over agency. This chapter, following previous works, (Chalari, 2009, 2012, 2017) supports the distinction between the profoundly inter-related concepts of structure and agency by recognizing and promoting their autonomous powers and properties. This study will focus on the structural ‘landscape’ of the ongoing Greek Crisis in relation to the agential properties revealed through the reflexive deliberations of 20 Greek young participants. In order for such endeavour to be accomplished, two areas of analysis should be discussed: a) the theoretical concepts that enable the exploration of the agential properties of the Greek youth and b) the definition of youth within the social/structural context of the Greek crisis. Following this overview, 20 qualitative open-ended interviews with young Greek individuals (aged 18-23) have been thematically analysed through the conceptual tool of ‘Mediation’ process. ‘Mediation process’, explains how individuals consciously or unconsciously internalise aspects of structure (social expectations) which they try to process in relation to their own personal concerns in an attempt to find their way through the world and their place in society. The actual execution (or not) of action is not the focus of this study, as (aspects of) structure and agency are studied through the prism of the individual’s ability to internalise those aspects and further process them. The study will strictly focus on the participants’ narratives regarding their own personal experiences associated with intra-action as well as possible or future execution of inter-action. This chapter concludes by maintaining that although the participants of this study, were perfectly able to produce rich and vivid forms of intra-action (identified as internalised structural aspects related with personal concerns), they were rather discouraged to transform such intra-actions to inter-actions due to the restrictive aspects of the social, cultural political, economic and historical contexts they have found themselves in.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInside Out. Young People at the Crossroads of Structure and Agency . London: Palgrave McMillan “Youth and Young Adulthood and Society” Book Series (
EditorsAnna Caetano
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Number of pages20
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Apr 2020


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