Crisis and Social Capital in Greece: A Comparative Study Between Rural and Urban Communities

  • Anna Tokalaki
  • Anastasios MichailidisEmail author
  • Maria Partalidou
  • Georgios Theodossiou
Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE)


Greece is facing a severe economic crisis that has also been perceived as a crisis of human values, ideology and on parallel a crisis of trust in people and institutions. The role of trust (both individual and institutional) has been highlighted within the social capital literature as a factor of growth and prosperity of societies; especially in terms of adaptability to volatile conditions where the need for cooperation in order to achieve common goals is of great importance. At the same time, much has been written about the existence of higher levels of social capital in closed societies such as rural ones when compared to urban. The main aim of this paper is to investigate the relation of trust and solidarity, between urban and rural areas in Northern Greece, using empirical research to a large sample of 503 residents. Research results lead to the segmentation need of the population into three distinct clusters with respect to different levels of social capital within different rural–urban context. The main policy implication would be whether the increase in social capital could be a tool for “survival” in the current economic crisis in Greece and at the European level.


Community Crisis Rural Social capital Trust Urban 

JEL Classification Codes

C38 131 138 


  1. Bourdieu P (1986) The forms of capital. In: Richardson J (ed) Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education. Greenwood Press, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  2. Charatsari C et al (2011) Farmers as consumers of agricultural education services: willingness to pay and spend time. J Agric Educ Ext 17(3):253–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Charatsari C et al (2013) Great expectations? Antecedents of women farmers’ willingness to participate in agricultural education programmes. Outlook Agric 42(3):193–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Coleman JS (1988) Social capital in the creation of human capital. Am J Sociol 94:95–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Coleman JS (1990) Foundations of social theory. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, ΜΑGoogle Scholar
  6. Defilippis J (2001) The myth of social capital in community development. Hous Policy Debate 11(4):781–806CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fukuyama F (2001) Social capital, civil society and development. Third World Q 22:7–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Helliwell JF, Putnam RD (2004) The social context of well-being. Philos Trans R Soc B Biol Sci 359(1449):1435–1446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hemenway D et al (2001) Firearm prevalence and social capital. Ann Epidemiol 11(7):484–490CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jalan J, Ravallion M (1999) Are the poor less well insured? Evidence on vulnerability to income risk in rural China. J Dev Econ 58:61–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Koutsou S et al (2014) Young farmers’ social capital in Greece: trust levels and collective actions. J Rural Stud 34:204–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Koutsouris A et al (2014) The phantom of (agri)tourism and agriculture symbiosis? A Greek case study. Tour Manag Perspect 12:94–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Krikeli V et al (2010) Communication improvement through music: the case of children with developmental disabilities. Int J Spec Educ 25(1):1–9Google Scholar
  14. Kritsotakis G et al (2009) Individual and contextual influences of social variables in health outcomes: the impact of social capital. Arch Hell Med 26:523–535 (in Greek)Google Scholar
  15. Liltsi P et al (2014) Mapping perceived happiness alongside the rural-urban continuum. Proc Econ Finance 9:288–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lim C, Putnam RD (2010) Religion, social networks, and life satisfaction. Am Sociol Rev 75(6):914–933CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Loizou E et al (2013) Investigating the drivers that influence the adoption of differentiated food products: the case of a Greek urban area. Br Food J 115(7):917–935CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Loizou E et al (2014) Return migration: evidence from a reception country with a short migration history. Eur Urban Reg Stud 21(2):161–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Michailidis A, Papadaki-Klavdianou A (2008) The contribution of agricultural extension services to the productivity and socioeconomic profile of dairy cattle farmers. Outlook Agric 37(2):119–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Michailidis A et al (2006) Understanding participation constraints of potential skiers. Tour Econ 12(3):421–435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Michailidis A et al (2010) Information and communication technologies as agricultural extension tools: a survey among farmers in West Macedonia, Greece. J Agric Educ Ext 16(3):249–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Michailidis A et al (2011a) Adoption of sustainable irrigation practices in water scarce areas. Bulgarian J Agric Sc 17(5):579–591Google Scholar
  23. Michailidis A et al (2011b) Who goes online? Evidence of internet use patterns from rural Greece. Telecommun Policy 35(4):333–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Michailidis A et al (2012) Mobile communications technology in rural societies of developing countries. J Rural Dev 31(3):319–334Google Scholar
  25. Portes A (1998) Social capital: its origins and applications in modern sociology. Annu Rev Sociol 24:1–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Putnam RD (1993) The prosperous community: social capital and public life. Am Prospect 13:35–42Google Scholar
  27. Putnam RD (2004) Commentary: ‘health by association’: some comments. Int J Epidemiol 33(4):667–671CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Putnam RD et al (1993) Making democracy work. Civic traditions in modern Italy. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJGoogle Scholar
  29. SPSS (2011) IBM SPSS statistics base 20. SPSS, Chicago, ILGoogle Scholar
  30. Sztompka P (1993) Civilizational incompetence: the trap of post-communist societies. Z Soziol 22(2):85–95Google Scholar
  31. Sztompka P (1995) Trust: the missing resource of post-communist society, mimeo. Institute of Sociology, Jagiellonian University, KrakowGoogle Scholar
  32. Weber M (1978) Economy and society. In: Roth G, Wiittich C (eds). University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  33. World Bank Group (2012) World development indicators 2012. World Bank Publications, Washington, DCCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Tokalaki
    • 1
  • Anastasios Michailidis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maria Partalidou
    • 1
  • Georgios Theodossiou
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural EconomicsAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Department of Business AdministrationTechnological Educational Institute of LarissaLarissaGreece

Personalised recommendations