Dates Summary

September 2013 – August 2014 (months 1-12) The two post-docs (Palomera and Vetta) and the PI conducted secondary sources investigation (gathering of statistical material, monographs, theme articles, etc.) on the regional differentiation of the four research countries (Portugal, Greece, Spain, and Italy). An initial assessment of the various economic models used in academic and policy documents was undertaken and theoretically engaged with. In addition to these major tasks the website was designed and launched. The PI and the post-docs participated in workshops on Ethics, and Care & Generations co-organized with two other ERC-Adv Grant projects at the University of Amsterdam. This period provided the groundwork for the following phase, including getting the Ethics clearance in the countries where fieldwork would be conducted. It also initiated a fruitful exchange with projects addressing complementary themes.

September 2014 – April 2015 (months 13-22) On September 1st 2014 seven new researchers enter the team (Amarianakis, Lafazani, Leidereiter, Loperfido, Matos, Pusceddu, Sarkis). The main tasks during the months preceding departure to the field for ethnographic research concentrated on Training (methods, theoretical framework) and the development of Protocols. This was carried out through reading seminars debating key concepts, as well as method seminars focused on the development of fieldwork protocols. In addition, the GRECO team organized International Workshops on theoretical themes relevant to the project and participated in other Workshops with a theoretical and methodological affinity. Researchers conducted a short pilot fieldtrip during January 2015 in order to develop local contacts and a general contextual inspection. The objective of these activities was threefold:

  1. It enhanced the visibility of the GRECO project and created a network of intellectual collaboration with colleagues in related projects.
  2. It expanded comparative analysis through exchange of ethnographic material.
  3. It provided the opportunity for conceptual development and theoretical debate.

May 2015 – September 2016 (months 22 to 39) The focus of this period is fieldwork. All junior researchers (9) departed for an initial six month ethnographic fieldwork on May-June 2015. The team reconvened in Barcelona in November 2015 for a two month exchange of information and elicitation of emerging patterns observed during fieldwork. A second six month period of fieldwork began in February 2016 and is ongoing. During fieldwork researchers have shared monthly reports and visited each others’ field sites when possible.


These 30 months have achieved what was planned in terms of groundwork, training, protocols, and fieldwork. Conditions of collaboration with teams doing related research are in place and dissemination of preliminary results and theoretical debates through conference presentations and publications has begun. Although results will be forthcoming after completion of fieldwork and analysis, some preliminary patterns emerge in ordinary people’s practices and assessment of the crisis. Practices include: reconfiguration of households towards extended family patterns around resources provided by senior generations (pensions, homes); use of migration as a strategy for increasing livelihood opportunities in younger generations; petty tax avoidance by self-employed and shop owners; reliance on charity and solidarity networks in the last resort; acceptance of unhealthy
and exploitive practices from employers; search for micro-privilege rents (through patronage, exclusion). Assessment of crisis points to: perception of being under attack by powerful forces (talk of war, physical elimination); failure of citizenship entitlements (political breakdown of trust); ambivalence about mainstream economic models; view of inequality as a politically enforced privilege; lack of sustainability of the austerity model.

September 2016 – February 2018 (3rd 18 month period) Fieldwork in the four research countries (Portugal, Greece, Spain, and Italy) came to an end (in November 2016). Fieldwork started in month 21 and was planned to extend for twelve months (2 periods of 6 months with a 2 month pause for analysis) up to month 35 (August 2016). It was extended by 3 months in relation to the originally planned dates. The reason for this was the extreme productivity of the second period of fieldwork and the richness of the material gathered. In addition to the final fieldwork period in the main research sites, fieldwork on institutional support to social and solidarity economy projects, to small entrepreneurship, and observation of financial literacy workshop was undertaken by a new post-doctoral researcher (Patricia Homs) starting in January 2017. Moreover, archival research and analysis of media discourse and institutional reports was conducted by the same researcher.


The period following the end of fieldwork has been taken by analysis, conceptual debate and exchange (PI residence and travel to academic centers to debate and collaborate with colleagues engaged in similar research; panel organization at international conferences; 2 international workshops jointly organized with other research projects: one on Populism and crisis, the other on 10 Years of Crisis). All of which went as planned in Annex I p.16-18.

An important aspect of this period has been comparison. This has been explored following two paths. The first is the systematic comparison of the GRECO fieldwork material in order to assess differences and similarities in relation to people’s responses to the economic downturn. Comparing regions within and across countries has been the main methodological tool, one that has benefited from cross field site short visits by team members to some of the others’ research sites. The main themes of comparison have been: (1) regular & irregular income provisioning (2) public, Charity, and private systems of entitlement, support, and care (3) entrepreneurship and financial literacy (4) citizenship-state reconfigurations (5) regulation, legitimacy and political mobilizations (6) forms of indebtedness (7) embodied expressions of crisis and (8) lay & expert models of the crisis