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A Similarity Graph-based Approach to Study Social Representations of the Economic Crisis: A Comparison between Italian and Greek Social Groups.

By Roberto Fasanelli, Liguori Anna and Galli Ida


In order to analyse the common sense theories about the economic thinking and acting, this research has been conducted with the theoretical framework of the Social Representation Theory. By interviewing Italian and Greek participants belonging to different social groups, we examined how expert and lay people face this phenomenon. Inspired by the Structural Approach, which considers SRs as constituted of two parts (a structure and a content), data were collected through specific strategies and were created ad hoc: hierarchized evocations, characterization and multiple choice questionnaires. Four groups of participants (N=120 for each country; n=30 for each group; gender balanced) were employed: university students (second/third year; Faculty of economics), mid-level bank clerks, shopkeepers, and laypeople. Obtained data were treated with rang/frequency and similarity/network analysis, as well as mono and bivariate statistical analysis. The main findings demonstrate culture and group membership differences in the ways participants define and foresee strategies to face the crisis. In particular, in both Italian and Greek samples, differences between expert and lay groups are clear. Methodological implications associated with combining qualitative and quantitative methods, in SRT’s Structural Approach, are presented and discussed

Topics: Social representations, economic crisis, structural approach, similarity/network analysis
Publisher: IACCP Inc.
Year: 2016
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