Lloyd's Register
The American Club
Panama Consulate
London Shipping Law Center
Home HRAcademia Narratives of Leaving and Returning to Homeland: The Example of Greek Brain Drainers Living in the UK

Narratives of Leaving and Returning to Homeland: The Example of Greek Brain Drainers Living in the UK

by admin
Dr. Athanasia Chalari

by Athanasia Chalari*
University of Tokyo, Japan; University of Northampton, UK

and Efi-Irini Koutantou
University of Essex, UK


Narratives of why people migrate can be primarily associated with the study of migration in terms of people’s drivers of leaving and returning to homeland. Greek people have been very familiar with the idea of leaving as well as returning home, throughout modern Greek history; yet, due to the ongoing Greek crisis and prolonged austerity, a new migration wave has been formed associated with young professionals and scientists (brain drainers). This study utilises the qualitative collection and analysis of 31 narrative interviews contacted with Greek brain drainers currently living in the UK, in an attempt to examine, understand, and explain the drivers of leaving and returning to homeland. We argue that factors leading to the decision of leaving as well as the consideration (or hesitation) of returning are associated with (a) macro-factors relating to the socio-economic situation of the origin country (associated with the eliminating economic and personal development) as well as (b) powerful drivers of enduring cultural and social mentalities, associated with a mosaic of distinctive norms formed and established beyond the Greek crisis.

Viewers can log here below and read the full article:



*Dr Chalari is an Associate Lecturer at Open University and Visiting Senior Fellow at LSE.  She has  received her PhD in Social Theory from the University of Warwick (2007) under the supervision of Professor Archer. She also holds an MPhil form Cambridge University, MA from Essex University, BA from Kent University and she has received her Ptychion in Sociology from Panteion University. She has worked as the A.C. Laskaridis Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Hellenic Observatory, LSE (2011-12) whereas she has taught Social Theory and Social Methods in various Universities including Cambridge, Manchester and Northampton. She has conducted research as Visiting fellow in Sociology at Harvard University (2007), Visiting Professor in Sociology at the Universities of Toronto, and York University in Ontario, Canada (2013-14), Research Associate at the Hellenic Observatory, LSE (2012-15), Visiting Research Scholar in Sociology at the Universities of Tokyo and University of Waseda, Japan (2019-20). She has been invited to deliver lectures and seminars in Athens, Greece, Tokyo, Japan and Toronto, Canada as well as, in various Universities and International conferences in UK. She has been interviewed about her research from BBC World, BBC Radio, CNN, The Economist, CanadaTV, and Radio France. She has published in English and Greek articles in peer-reviewed Journals including the Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, Sociological Research on-line, GreeSE, Greek Sociological Review, Political Quarterly and the Observatoire de la Société Britannique and a number of book chapters. She is the author of one text-book (Sociology of the Individual) and two monographs.  Her publications focus on the relationship between Structure and Agency, as well as the subjective experiences of the Greek crisis, Greek youth, and brain drainers and more recently the current pandemic through the concepts of social change and crisis. From 2016-2018 she has leaded the department of Sociology at the University of Northampton as where she is currently leading the MSc in Public Sociology. 

You may also like

Leave a Comment