Reception and Perception of May 1968 in Greece

Pantelis Kyprianos


How is May ’68 received in the public space? How has it been perceived in the collective consciousness in Greece since that day? To investigate the image of May ’68 portrayed by the mass media (public space) and the idea that young Greeks have of it today (collective memory), I relied on three categories of sources: i) Analysis of the texts referring to the events; ii) Interviewing former students who participated in the uprising against the Dictatorship at the Polytechnic in 1973; and iii) Discussions with today’s students to see whether or not they have an image of May ’68, and if so, what it is. This paper is made up of five sections. In the first I provide an overview of the situation in Greece in 1968, in the second I briefly set out the main positions on May ’68 of well-known French social scientists, and in the third I discuss how the period was perceived and the weight of its role in the uprising of Greek students at the Polytechnic in 1973. In the fourth section I paint a brief picture of how May ’68 has been viewed in Greece from the fall of the dictatorship in 1974 to today. Finally, in the fifth and final section, I summarise how today’s students perceive the events. 


May 68; Greece; Collective Memory; Youth; Perception of the Uprising

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