PSCI 357

Solidarity, Social Movements, and the Fight for Justice and Change in Greece: A Service Learning Approach

Major Discipline(s):
Political Science
Spring Semester
Related Discipline: Anthropology cross listed with ANTH 357

In recent years, Greece has seen the emergence of what has been called “civil society,” voluntary and social organizations that are an integral part of political life, but are not commercial in nature or part of the state. This course examines this emergence, along with the the changing relationships between citizen and state that have been happening concurrently, and the major social issues in contemporary Greece that these organizations and movements concern themselves with. Students join such organizations as volunteers, devoting a minimum of 45 hours to their internships over the course of the semester. These volunteer experiences are integrated into the course, providing an experiential dimension to the questions we will be exploring together.

There are three main reasons why students want to do a service learning course when they study abroad:
  • they have a personal commitment to service or justice
  • they want to contribute to the community where they will be living
  • and they want to feel involved and immersed in this community and learn about it by being so.
This course enriches those goals by providing another layer to this experience, as students learn about the history and development of the kinds of organizations that welcome volunteers, about why the concept of volunteerism has come to be so closely linked to the idea of a functioning democracy, and about why the development of this type of activity has occurred in a very specific way in Greece. All efforts are made to match students with volunteer positions that align with their interests.