How do memory and religious beliefs influence humanitarian attitudes towards refugees? The findings of STSM in Greece

Jul 03, 2024

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gülay Uğur Göksel (Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey) visited the National Center of Social Research ΕΚΚΕ (Athens, Greece) to explore how memory and religious beliefs influence humanitarian attitudes towards refugees, with a focus on Greece. The Short-Term Scientific Mission (STSM), funded by COST Action COREmet, involved a comprehensive desk study, literature review, and field research, including interviews with key actors such as NGOs, academics, and community leaders.

Through a detailed desk study and 25 interviews with key stakeholders from exchange communities, refugee associations, and arts and refugee organizations, the research highlighted the intricate interplay between memory, religious identity, and humanitarian attitudes. According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gülay Uğur Göksel, “The research will also expand to include the Turkish context, aiming to publish a comparative article exploring the parallels and divergences between memory and religious identity’s effects on refugee perceptions in Turkey and Greece.”

This research is highly relevant for various stakeholders and policymakers. Understanding the role of memory and religious beliefs in shaping attitudes towards refugees can inform more effective integration policies. For researchers, the study provides valuable insights into the socio-psychological dimensions of refugee perception, contributing to the broader field of migration studies. The research also highlights the importance of cultural and religious narratives in shaping humanitarian responses, emphasizing the need for culturally sensitive approaches in refugee support initiatives.

What is a Short-Term Scientific Mission (STSM) within COREnet?

A Short-Term Scientific Mission, funded by the COST Action COREnet, consists of a visit to a host organization located in a different country to the country of affiliation of a Researcher in order to carry out specific work as part of a research project. In addition to research purposes, Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) are aimed to support researchers’ individual mobility, to strengthen existing networks and to foster collaboration between individuals. The purpose of a STSM is thus to gain new partnerships, to learn new techniques and to gain access to specific data, instruments and/or methods not available in their own institutions/organizations.

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