“Are Greeks Desperate for Heroes?” A Corpus-based Investigation of Colonial Discourses
AbstractJoining previous research on the discourses that have been produced on Greece by the Western press during recent years—particularly related to the economic crisis—the present article examines the British media narratives which covered the archaeological excavation of the mound of Kasta in Amphipolis, Greece, in order to trace any possible colonial discourses. By deploying corpus linguistics in the form of word lists and concordance tables, a total of 324 articles from 108 British publications were investigated. In this study, I argue that Michael Hertzfeld’s concept of ‘crypto-colonialism’ is an ongoing situation that Greece finds itself in and has been greatly perpetuated due to Western colonial discourses that manifest themselves both explicitly and implicitly. These discourses present the ancient past as a kind of cultural example that modern Greeks should somehow follow. Consequently, a cycle of self-colonisation where colonial discourses abroad inform self-colonising discourses domestically emerges, highlighting the dynamic and complex character of crypto-colonialism and the power relationship between the West and Greece that still exists. Finally, I advocate the benefits of using corpus linguistics in cultural research, as a tool for wide-reaching empirical research.
Copyright (c) 2017 Dimitrios Chaidas
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