Greece has long been viewed as "the black sheep" of Europe for its audacity to challenge and to criticize regional and global powers, like the United States. Firebrand criticism of US policy has been a trademark from national leaders, like the late Andreas Papandreou, through the sea of small political parties, all the way down to neighborhood coffeehouses and town squares. The story of Greece is rooted in a series of wrenching conflicts that had US fingerprints and/or stamps of approval that caused great dislocations, long-term domestic strife, and of course violence and death. At the same time, Greece's history, religion, and geographic location often served to temper anti-American strands, and in fact sometimes fueled processes of what we may call "Americanization."
Debates about Americanization, often used interchangeably with the term "globalization," abound in Greek popular culture. Older Greeks, and those of more traditional or religious bents lament the erosion of tradition and the concurrent explosion of the "xeno," the foreign. Meanwhile the modern Greek language, music, and leisure activity are heavily infiltrated by American influences, easily penetrating and affecting change on what we may call the "Greek lifestyle." Such debates are all the more developed due to the country's dependence on tourism, and its image and reputation for "philoxenia," or hospitality of "Old World" style. As such there has been an on-going transformation and crisis in "identity" for many Greeks, deeply-rooted in our analysis of "anti-Americanism" and "Americanization."
For all of the brazen rhetoric and controversy of many of its political and cultural figures, Greece has remained firmly and squarely within the Western domain. The United States' Truman Doctrine explicitly aimed to keep Greece (and Turkey) within the Western sphere through an anti-communist program directed from Washington. Greece was also a beneficiary of the Marshall Plan, involved itself early in the process of European unification, and is one of only seven nations in the world that the US had as an ally in every major international conflict in the 20th century.
What we see then is a divide between the sentiments of popular Greek culture and the actions of its government. We encounter a "knee-jerk" anti-Americanism married to a more sophisticated and empirically-grounded anti-Americanism. And while this evolution has proceeded, we also witness an accelerating Americanization of cultural artifacts, social changes, and belief systems -- not "wholesale" but syncretic in nature.
Brief History of American and Foreign Intervention in Greece
Greece's history of foreign invasions and occupations is well-known and documented. For the time frame we are examining here (1945-Present) the interventions and consequences have been dramatic and significant. It is important to emphasize, however, that historically this represents a continuation of this history, that has most certainly left its marks on Greek culture and the Greek psyche.
As WWII was winding down, the partisan conflicts within Greece gave rise to its infamous and disastrous civil war. Greeks, who had been fighting side-by-side against Nazi invaders and occupiers -- influencing serious damage along the way -- had begun turning their weapons on each other. On the one side there was the communist-led National Liberation Front (EAM) and on the other (EDES). The mere mention of this history draws the ire and attacks from across the political spectrum to this day. What is relevant and controversial are the roles played by the US and the UK. These Western, Allied powers had begun sowing the seeds for the Greek civil war by providing and selling munitions to both sides and inciting conflict. N Certainly the case can be made that the extremely popular EAM had to be weakened so that free elections would not yield a victory for the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), many of whom sought alliances with Yugoslavia, and the Soviet Union. The civil war turned brother against brother, tore families apart, and spilled even more blood on the war-torn nation. It also gave rise to anti-Western sentiments that resonate to this day.
Out of this civil war comes a defeat for the Left which led the resistance against the foreign occupiers. The US government takes action in the region with the Truman Doctrine, which aimed to prevent the spread of communism, and directly interfered with Greek governance and politics. Aid to Greece was conditioned on the arrests and marginalization of the KKE and other Leftists. Why? Beyond the obvious geopolitical considerations and the commencement of the Cold War, economic considerations were (and continue to be) at the fore. US Presidential Aide, Clark Clifford justified intervention in Greece by noting that, "the disappearance of free enterprise in other nations would threaten our (US) economy and our democracy." This then is also important because it explicitly links economy to policy and our first US intervention to both anti-Americanism and groundwork for Americanization through the market.
While the legacy of the civil war continues, in diminished fashion, to polarize Greeks the world over, its place in the Greek collective memory is fading along with the generations that lived the civil war. Younger Greeks and today's cadre of politicians were deeply affected and in many instances radicalized by the coups of the Greek colonels that occurred in April 1967. A few years earlier, peace activist and politician, Gregorys Lambrakis had also fallen victim to an assassin of the Right. The emergence of the junta is one of a number of empirical cases where a democratically-elected reformist government, and the threat of increasingly-popular Leftist forces was overthrown by a pro-capitalist military leadership which was funded, aided, and supported by the US national security state.
The dictatorship lasted from 1967-74 and it had all the markings of totalitarian brutality. Individual and human rights suffered severe setbacks, and the martial law was characterized by police brutality and political and cultural repression. Free elections were suspended, and strikes, demonstrations, and public criticism of the government were outlawed. It was also made illegal to congregate publicly for any purpose except for church.
The public support that the US gave the colonels shocked and outraged many in the west. Political pressure was applied to the US government by academic constituencies from around the world, the European Economic Community, Hellenic diaspora groups and many other constituencies. The US position would leave more fodder for anti-Americanism in Greece.
By the end of their reign, the dictators themselves, managed to test the patience of the US by refusing to moderate in their iron grip on the country's democratic institutions, and by maintaining a strong nationalist bent in their economic dealings, often to the detriment of non-Greek capital and investors. Many speculate that the junta's persistence in pursuing oil exploration in the Aegean Sea may have been the key determinant in the United States' eventual withdrawal of support of Papadopoulos and his associates.
On November 17, 1974, protesting students at the National Polytechnic University confronted troops of the dictatorship in an ugly event that would epitomize the dictatorship's reign of terror and its ultimate demise. The government had grown weary of increasingly popular demonstrations pressuring for democratic reforms and had called for a stricter crack down. Students conducting a sit-in protest inside the entrance of the Polytechnic were suddenly crushed by a military tank killing people and igniting a revolutionary fire against the US-backed junta. The legacies of the civil war and the junta were intertwining and melding into an anti-American albatross.
If all this weren't enough, just as the sun was setting on the dictatorship's rule, conflict erupted in Cyprus between the Greek- and Turkish- Cypriots. The governments of Greece and Turkey, having had active political agendas in the island nation, would become centrally-embroiled in the conflict. Cyprus's Archbishop and President Makarios had angered the west, and particularly the US, by entering into business and political deals with the Soviet Union and other non-aligned countries. He emphasized this in an address before the Cypriot General Assembly, ". . .in an independent, non-aligned Cyprus free from the threats of face and all outside interference, its people, Greek and Turkish Cypriots, can live together in harmony with mutual respect for their legitimate rights. In these circumstances, there will be neither need nor purpose for the existence of armies [emphasis mine]." Makarios and his actions drew criticisms and threats from home and abroad, but he stayed the course reasoning that he would do what was best for Cyprus.
As is the case with our previous historical synopses, this will not be exhaustive, but instead remain general and above the fray of politically-loaded arguments that could otherwise unnecessarily weigh down the purpose of this paper.
An attempt was made on Makarios's life in an ill-conceived abortive anti-Makarios coup. The Greek colonels pushed for "unification" between Greece and Cyprus in both overt and covert ways. Already having angered the US government, the dictators drew more heat from the West.
Then, in July and August of 1974, after a series of incursions, Turkish forces invaded Cyprus. The Greeks responded in kind with military detachments, but by the end of the day, Turkey occupied 40% of the island nation, which it still occupies today. A pseudo-state is only recognized by Ankara was established and US peacekeepers have been permanent fixtures along the "Green Line."
The anger that the US (and UK) draw in this scenario lie in what emerges as US complicity once again. Apparently the US State Department, led by Henry Kissinger, was instrumental in planning and advising the Turkish government regarding the invasion of Cyprus. While the US never formally recognized the pseudo-state, the de facto separation and occupation of Cyprus -- with US support, according to Christopher Hitchens and others -- was fuel on the fire of anti-Americans sentiment in 1974.
For their part, the British maintained their presence on their former colony throughout the strife and up to this day. British bases in Cyprus are considered extremely valuable and equipped with the latest surveillance and intelligence technology. This is particularly important due to Cyprus's close proximity to the Middle East and Israel in particular. Recently the British have drawn international criticism for environmental destruction at one of their Cypriot bases.
Civil war fueled by "America"; military dictatorship and totalitarian regime directed, or at least supported by "America"; invasion of Cyprus and your Greek brothers and sisters, orchestrated and supported by "America" -- is it any wonder why many Greeks harbor anti-American sentiments? Let us emphasize that whether or not the aforementioned are true is really irrelevant. The fact is that by and large these notions that fuel a wide variety of anti-Americanism are ingrained in Greek society.
Cultural Resistance? Cultural Imperialism? Cultural Syncretism
We have established that while there has been a string of historical events of US and Western intervention in Greece that serve as empirical grounds for anti-Americanism, the Greek state has by and large remained solidly in the US fold in practice. How is it possible that the outspoken, politically articulate people of Greece allowed such a contradiction between public opinion and official actions? I believe a lot can be explained by the cultural component to this project. That is, American culture managed to continuously penetrate Greek society and culture in both wholesale and modified ways. Many will object here to my characterization of "American" culture and cultural artifacts. So, to be clear, I prefer this characterization, and the notion of "Americanization" over "globalization" because I take power considerations into account. And if we do so it becomes clear that the driving economic, "cultural" and political force of "globalization" is America, and thus my preference for the notion of "Americanization" and the process of cultural syncretism.
What then are the porous channels through which American culture has penetrated Greek society? Among the many and varied cultural media through which culture is transmitted, the history of the acceptance of American culture and cultural artifacts has primarily accelerated via youth culture and tourism development.
In earlier works, my colleague, Victor Roudometof, and I focused exclusively on youth culture in post-WWII Greece (Epitropoulos & Roudometof 1998). Within the realm of Greek youth culture -- and tourism -- it was possible to observe the effects of American culture on Greek society and the interaction between American and indigenous culture. Out analysis was strictly limited to those cultural activities that most prominently displayed American cultural influences, and leaves out the rich, national folk culture of Greece. This in no way should be taken as a proxy of the totality of the Greek lifestyle or culture.
Traditional Greek society lacked any industrial working class that characterized more developed Western European nations. Instead, Greece's population has many small shopkeepers, artisans, civil servants, professionals, self-employed, and farmers constituting the majority. (Lambiri-Dimaki 1983; Mouzelis & Attalides 1971; Mouzelis 1978; Tsoukalas 1987, Petmezidou-Tsoulouvi 1987; Diamontouros 1983). While still disproportionately large for a contemporary European country, agriculture was the dominant segment of the population until 1945. The primary institutions shaping Greek identity were, and to some extent still are, the kinship structure and the Greek Orthodox religion (McNeill 1978). It is during the time frame of our study, from 1945 to the present, that Greece has been transformed from an agricultural to an urban society. This transformation did not occur in the textbook fashion of development theories, from agricultural to industrial to service economies, however. Rather the changes were achieved through non-traditional sources: 1) tourism development and 2) the repatriation of currency from Greek immigrants in Western nations, primarily the US (Epitropoulos & Roudometof 1998; McNeill 1978; Ioakimidis 1984; McNall 1974a, 1974b, 1976). These fundamental structural shifts led to marked increases in standard of living and GNP, and more importantly for our purposes an eruption in consumer culture (Vergopoules 1985, Karapostolis 1984).
Two other changes that must be mentioned here are 1) a domestic "spatial" change, across regions of Greece, and 2) progressive cultural change. When combined with the aforementioned economic transformation, we have laid the empirical foundation from which to observe the "Americanizing" aspects of Greek (particularly youth) culture.
Post-WWII Greece experienced internal migrations that were characterized by the urbanization of Athens and Thessaloniki (the two largest cities of the country). Population exploded in these cities as people sought employment and recovery from the harsh days of war and occupation. These migrations served to also increase interaction between the Greek metropolitan centers and smaller, provincial towns, rural areas, and the Greek islands. Depopulation ravaged many areas, and it is primarily areas that have subsequently capitalized on tourism development that have reversed these trends (especially the Greek islands). For these and other reasons, many social commentators speak of a "two-speed" Greece, with one flowing with "globalization," and the other mired in the worst of the traditional society.
We move now to the culture change. The key feature of traditional Greek culture has been a powerful in-group/out-group division, wherein all those who fall within the group are "our people" (dikoi mas) whereas all those who fall outside the boundaries of the group are foreigners (xenoi) (Campbell 1964, 1983; de Bouloy 1974; Dimen & Friedl 1976; Pollis 1965; Vassiliou & Vassiliou 1973; Epitropoulos & Roudometof 1998; Triandis & Vassiliou 1972; Dubisch 1986; Kataki 1984). The key concept linked with this form of collectivism has been the very same one that fueled Greece's tourism reputation (in the earlier days), and that is philotimo. Philotimo is the sense of one's family honor and esteem, and is carried over to philoxenia, the warm hospitality offered to visitors and foreigners. Loyalty is reinforced only within the group where these values are upheld. In post-WWII Greece, the family has continued to be the dominant institution, thus remaining "a rather passive agent in social change and in most cases, a conservative one" (Gizelis et. al. 1984).
In Greece, the state and other public institutions operate on the basis of particularistic criteria -- namely clientelism -- that serve to reinforce dependency upon familial ties and networks. The family constitutes a socioeconomic unit that assumes the responsibility of finding (or making) suitable employment for their children, even if it requires a prolonged period of time (Tsoukalas 1986). This problem is apparently worsening and taking on new dimensions, with children living with and "off" of their parents into middle age, while avoiding marriage and opting instead for "rendezvous" relationships that are cheaper both economically and emotionally. This is still in line with tradition, where very few youth lived on their own, with students being an obvious exception, living away from home for studies. The resulting economic and emotional dependency on the family and its patriarchal structure are factors that contribute to the perpetuation of the traditional value system. The family is the main social agent for the transmission of traditional values from one generation to the next. The key difficulty for many Greek youth is making the transition to a state of maturity and independence, and these difficulties are attributed to their chronic dependency on the family (Tselika 1991; Lipovatch 1988; Petmezidou-Tsoulouvi 1987; Epitropoulos & Roudometof 1998).
Since WWII, and particularly since Greece's two tourism boom periods (1960s-early 1970s and the late 1980s-1990s), Greek society -- from urban to rural to island areas -- has become increasingly (some might say alarmingly) enmeshed in processes of globalization and Americanization, where contacts across, between, and within cultures and communities are greater in number and stronger in nature (Robertson 1992; Epitropoulos 2002; Epitropoulos & Roudometof 1998). The impacts of tourists on holiday, returning diaspora immigrants with generations of Greeks born abroad and exposed to American and other Western cultures, and -- importantly -- the impact of mass media (music, videos, movies, internet, clothing and fashion, sports, etc.) have contributed to Greece's increasing cultural contact with American and Western cultural artifacts and attitudes (Epitropoulos 2000; Epitropoulos & Roudometof 1998). It is precisely in the domain of leisure where cultural changes can most easily be identified. Further, in our earlier research, we focused on small towns and islands that were removed from the urban centers and where one could more readily witness and analyze such cultural changes (Epitropoulos & Roudometof 1998; Epitropoulos 2000). As more young people gain economic independence from family, they tend to expend and differentiate their leisure time and activities. In fact, since the first tourism boom, a distinctive Greek "youth culture" emerged, rendering a visible generation gap between WWII generations and those growing up in the transformational period (Lambiri-Dimaki 1983). Here we utilize Frith's definition of youth culture as, "the particular pattern of beliefs, values, symbols, and activities that a group of young people are seen to share" (1984). What we witness is a belief system shift from collectivism towards individualism, and more importantly an acceptance of American and syncretic cultural forms within youth culture.
Exemplary features of tourism development and the emergence of Greek youth culture have been the creation of a wide range of establishments oriented toward the youth, like kafeteries, discos, pubs and theme bars, and even modern cabarets (for an in-depth explanation of the particular forms see Epitropoulos & Roudometof 1998). These have by and large replaced traditional and patriarchal Greek kaffenia (coffeehouses). Of course what allowed all of this to happen was the availability of spending money for youth -- largely accruing from employment in tourism and the service sector -- that elevated them to the status of customers, independent of their parents and family. Another fundamental shift brought on by tourism development has been the gradual liberalization of the family and the sexes, allowing for more freedom of movement and more interaction between the genders (Epitropoulos & Roudometof 1998; Epitropoulos 2002, 1999a, 1999b, 1994, 1993). The changes, it must be stressed, have not been "wholesale" or on the scale of anything resembling vulgar notions of "cultural imperialism" (Tomlinson 1991). Traditional features, such as the emphasis on close proximity as well as the communal character, the theatrical nature, and a strong male-oriented character have been retained. Thus, American culture and its artifacts often represent idealized versions of US culture and really are not so foreign.
We have now established strong and growing tendencies of Americanization in Greece. Tourism and youth culture have helped shape and disseminate American cultural forms in syncretic ways, retaining local ownership to some extent. And as aforementioned, we observe a Greek state that barks anti-American rhetoric, but has arguably been a lapdog of US foreign policy, even in the face of blatant and decisive interventions into Greece's domestic affairs. Americanization continues unabated and is connecting with larger and increasingly younger segments of the population. American forms and attitudes are part and parcel of Greek pop culture, even in their syncretic forms.
The Faces of Anti-Americanism
Why then the reputation as the "black sheep"? Why the focus on Greek anti-Americanism? Who is driving this process? And who exactly are the "anti-Americans" in Greek society?
Anti-Americanism in Greece has many forms. It ranges from the sophisticated to the knee-jerk. In large part this is because the patchwork of "anti-American forces" is, itself, so varied and diverse. They are Leftist activists, academics, and internationalists; Right-wing nationalists, royalists, and traditionalists; secularists and Orthodox Christians, and even devotees of the Gods of Olympus. Each of these constituencies has its own grievances with the laundry list of US interventions. Each desires its cultural survival and advancement. And the uniquely Greek character of independence, free-thinking, and dissent reveals itself. So it is that Greek anti-Americanism transcends traditional ideological boundaries.
One of the most prominent faces of anti-American rhetoric was Andreas Papandreou, the late leader of the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK). Trained in the US, Papandreou emerged as a key leader in the post-Junta era, invoking the phrase, "Exo oi Amerikanoi!" or "Out with the Americans!," in reference to US military bases in Greece. Papandreou, PASOK, and other Leftists also took strong anti-European Community positions until the 1980s as well.
It goes without saying that the KKE and other Leftist groups and parties held deeper resentments and animosities, accruing to their victimizations at the hands of the philo-American Greeks and particularly the dictatorship. The KKE had been outlawed but emerged again with the demise of the Junta. The Communist Party of Greece -- Interior (KKE-I) and later the Greek Left (EAR) held political lines of the New Left in Europe that were not so anti-European as much as anti-American -- a notable exception here.
In recent decades strong anti-American currents have been exhibited by conservatives in Greece as well. In particular nationalist Greeks of both mainstream and fringe Rightist groups view America with skeptical and distrustful eyes, calling for, "Greece for the Greeks!" Many cite the level of foreign direct investment in Greece and the extraction of profits as an assault on Greece and its sovereignty. Others argue that one of the reasons the colonels fell out of grace with their American "bosses" was that they dared to pursue autonomous policies -- such as oil exploration -- for Greek ownership and control.
The Greek Orthodox Church has also been critical of the US. The Greek Religious Right has pointed to the corrupting influences of Western, and particularly American, culture. The aforementioned consumerization and secularization, with increasing tendencies toward individualism over communalism and family are considered assaults on Greek traditions and customs. The Orthodox Church even went so far as to recommend a prayer to protect Greece:
"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on the cities, the islands and the villages of this Orthodox Fatherland, as well as the Holy monasteries which are scourged by the worldly touristic wave" (Urry 1990).
In a related way, adherents of the renewed religion of the Olympian Gods rail against the de-Hellenization of history, the corruption of Greek traditions, and the hijacking of all of the achievements of Greek civilization. These people take aim at the global capitalist system and the US, however special emphasis is placed on the role of Jews in this process. While there exist other such strands of what might be considered anti-Semitism embedded across the spectrum of Greece's anti-Americanism, I will not enter into that analysis here.
The above anti-American critiques represent sources from which more sophisticated articulations of anti-Americanism arise. The broad critique of the Greek Left is empirically-grounded in the historical interventions of the West, and especially the US into Greece's efforts -- the civil war, the junta, Cyprus, and now so called "grey areas" of the Greek Aegean Sea. The Leftist critique also shares with their Rightist compatriots a cultural anti-Americanism that lambastes American forms for their shallowness while emphasizing the richness of Greek history, culture, and the bygone glory days of ancient Greece. Nationalists draw on this and call for aggressive protection of all that is "Greek," citing the powerful corruptive forces of America. And as has been stated, religious Greeks find fault with the modernizing. Americanizing processes that are changing traditional culture, particularly those de-emphasizing the roles of the Church and family.
I argue, however, that the greatest type of anti-Americanism in Greece is of the "knee-jerk" variety. This implies an anti-Americanism that, while focused on the "political" in general, is without thought or real analysis. This is particularly the case for a large segment of Greek youth. While this represents failure of the various groups with "sophisticated" anti-American mantras to pass their messages down to new generations, this can also be seen as a success for Americanization. Skinheads, young leftists, and ultra-Orthodox youth are embedded in various forms of Americanization, wearing its clothes, listening to its music, watching its movies, adopting its leisure patterns and forms (bars, discos, etc.). Granted, to their credit, and as is "natural," much of this occurs in culturally syncretic ways, with modern Greek forms, roots, or modifications. Nonetheless, these trends are accelerating, even while the streets of Greece full with anti-American protestors with their cause de jour.
Interestingly, those especially offended by Greek anti-Americanism and mum on the degree of Americanization of Greece -- and especially blind to Greece's blind following of US orders and foreign policies are the Greek-Americans. Greek-Americans, more than any other Greek diaspora group, have exhibited strong anti-Greek sentiments. These immigrants and their subsequent generations have taken a paternalistic view of their ancestors' homeland. A common sentiment that can be found among the harsher Greek-American critics of Greece is, "they (the Greeks) bite the hand that feeds them! N and because they adopt this notion, Greek-Americans argue that Greeks and their government have no right to publicly disagree or challenge America and should rather, "shut up."
It is true that as an immigrant group, the Greek-Americans have done disproportionately well across the socioeconomic indicators of wealth, income, education, and occupation. It is also the case that Greek-Americans have done so while maintaining close ties to the Orthodox Church and a lot of Greek (and now Greek-American) culture. So it is that there exists a strong sentiment among all Greek-Americans that they are "more Greek than the Greeks!"
While these diaspora Greek communities largely preserved the values of Hellenism while successfully negotiating the cultures of their adopted countries, an interesting phenomenon has been emerging. In the US, the assimilation of generations of Greeks into the social mainstream that soon there may be no discernable Greek diaspora based on culture or tradition. In fact we are witnessing a rising "anti-Greek" sentiment within the Greek-American community that can be compared to the actions of the Greeks left in Turkey after the great expulsions of the last century -- the genitsaroi, or the wartime, Nazi-collaborating, koukoulades.
Ironically, Greek-Americans and the Greeks of Greece they are dealing with significant and rapidly-changing cultural identities. These are part and parcel of the processes of globalization and/or Americanization, whichever one prefers. They also share the trends toward greater individualism and materialism, at the expense of family and the Church. With this, we witness increasing social problems for both groups, like involvement on crime, drugs, etc.
These questions, tensions, and issues have been elevated since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, 2002, in the US. The Greek-American contingent to Greece's Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE), and other pronouncements in the Greek-American churches and communities have taken on hostile tones, highlighted by an "anti-Greek," full-page advertisement taken out in the Washington Post by, "a concerned Greek-American," on the eve of the visit of current Greek Prime Minister, Costas Simitis, to the White House.
In this paper, I have attempted to demonstrate the two sides of the same coin that are fraught with contradictions -- anti-Americanism and Americanization within Greece. There is a tragic and unfortunate history of Western and American intervention in Greece that has political and economic foundations from WWII to this day. In this process, Greeks from a broad swath of Greek society have been injured, killed, jailed, deposed, and robbed of personal and public wealth. Real reasons exist to justify a broad sentiment of anti-Americanism.
At the same time, we have seen how not only has the Greek state remained solidly in the American fold, but the cultural process of Americanization has continued unabated. Tourism and its consequence of giving rise to a more autonomous and independent youth culture and gender equality gave rise to new markets for leisure space and activities, ushering in bars, discos, music, foods, and other American cultural artifacts. While these changes further aggravated and provoked traditionalists, religious leaders and politics of both the Right and especially the Left, the masses of all Greek youth and recent generations have adopted Americanized culture and cultural forms to unprecedented levels. And in somewhat of a justification of Greek-Americans' attitudes, it can be said that increasingly, "Greeks are more American that the Americans!" referring to their degree of consumerism and individualistic materialism, abandoning a lot of traditions that Greek-American immigrants have largely maintained.
Again, while well-articulated versions of anti-Americanism exist across political, and ideological stripes, it is the "knee-jerk" anti-Americanism which is more prevalent, meaning that it is a) embedded in pop and populist culture, but also b) shallow and non-threatening to the process of Americanization. Greeks may consume disproportionate quantities of American culture and lifestyles. Take as a proxy the contradiction of being known for the longevity -- giving "Mediterranean Diet," while Greeks are the highest per capita consumers of cigarettes and meat in the EU, and while Greek youth exhibit among the highest incidences of obesity and childhood diabetes.
The processes and forms of anti-Americanism and Americanization continue to evolve, inextricably intertwined to American empire and global capitalism. We could illuminate much more with a particular class analysis of these processes wherein we could also see who benefits and who pays in economic and other terms. Anti-Americanism and Americanization are two sides of the same coin, neither of which will be going away any time soon.
[Mike Epitropoulos is at the University of Pittsburgh. This is a slightly edited version of a paper he presented at a conference in Oxford, England.]