PANAGIOTIS E. PETRAKIS
The Role of the Cultural Background as a Unifying Element of Economic Development
The psychology of the societies alters in times of crisis and change. Typical examples are the recent global financial crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic. The effects of such shocks are about to be detected in social trends and attitudes for many years to come. Under certain -very rare-conditions, a crisis and its recovery can be a starting point for a new start to a new cycle of development. But crises and recovery situations are creating traumas that accompany decision-making in the future. The cultural background has a long-term homocyclic effect. In the economic prosperity phase, there are a number of “anti-growth” aspects of social values linked to lack of openness.
However, in times of recession, this social model itself is giving rise to lines of defense linked to inward-looking while at the same time opposing its change. Thus, during the crisis, in-group collectivism (family) helps to reduce the negative effects of the crisis. However, the fact that in the very difficult phase of recession the cultural background works as a “life-saviour” gives it the chance to survive, possibly even stronger(!) in the development phase where it is now acting as an obstacle! (cultural anti-growth trap). The cultural dimensions and social psychological stereotypes that prevail in the Greek society measure a very long life that goes beyond the founding of the modern Greek state.
This does not mean that they are immobilized and consolidated over time, although their systematic presence is generally observed not only in the Greek economy but in all the societies of the world, and not as defined by the national borders. Generally, these are the gnostic constructs that link the past to the present and determine the future.