Migration, Identity and Wellbeing in Melbourne Australia - The Idea of being Greek in Diaspora

Maria-Irini Avgoulas, Rebecca Fanany
2021 Athens Journal of Social Sciences  
Both maintenance and transmission of Greek cultural identity are central to people of Greek descent living in diaspora, regardless of whether the individuals involved are immigrants or the descendants of immigrants. The 'idea of being Greek' often represents a positive resource for personal and group identity, even though what constitutes being Greek may be different depending on the cultural lens through which it is viewed in the experience of each generation. Nonetheless, core domains
more » ... ed with the concept of being Greek include the Greek language, the Greek Orthodox religion and various daily cultural practices. This paper will discuss findings across a number of recent studies undertaken in Melbourne, Australia taking an emic and etic perspective that all utilize the emergent methodology of narrative ethnography to explore migration, identity and wellbeing in the Greek community as well as the idea of being Greek in diaspora. The results suggest that there are emotional benefits associated with cultural identity and overall positive wellbeing and that, for those living in diaspora, whether migration was planned or not, a cultural community, cultural activities and membership in a distinct group are positive resources in fostering social connectedness. From a social perspective on health, this extends beyond the physiological/clinical elements of health and wellbeing and emphasizes the various social and intangible benefits of positive outlook and the very significant role that culture, and cultural practices play in the group social context by contributing to the perception of health and wellbeing in the Greek diaspora community across generations. Keywords: Culture, identity, wellbeing, Greek identity, migration
doi:10.30958/ajss.8-3-4 fatcat:gsjvpxcufrcwxgv6oykrstlfsi