Engendering the nation: women, state oppression and political violence in post-war Greece (1946-1974)

Stefatos, Katherine. 2012. Engendering the nation: women, state oppression and political violence in post-war Greece (1946-1974). Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

The PhD thesis: Engendering the Nation: Women, state oppression and political violence in post-war Greece (1946-1974), addresses the gendered characteristics of political violence during the 1946-1974 period in Greece. The phenomenon of political violence and state oppression against politically active women is analysed through the prism of nationalist ideology, both as a legitimising mechanism for the continuation of abuse and terrorisation, but also as a vehicle for re-appropriating gender roles, power hierarchies, sexual stereotypes and social norms. Research focuses on (1) the gender-specific ways women were persecuted, incarcerated and abused and the causes of this gender-based violence; (2) the ways in which the nationalist, official discourse made use of gender characteristics in order to enact this type of abuse and oppression. Accordingly, the phenomenon of political violence against women dissidents is examined through the main analytical categories of gender and nationalism.

This thesis provides a history and analysis of political violence against women in the Greek Civil War (1946-1949), the period of weak democracy (1950-1967) and the military dictatorship (1967-1974), respectively. The overall aim of the research is to bring forward the downplayed gendered characteristics of state-perpetuated violence and repression, and analyse them within the nationalist ideology and the ascribed traditional gender roles through which the oppressive mechanisms were institutionalised and authorised. In this respect, the experience of women as political detainees is reconstructed through an analysis of the sites and practices of political violence, terror and torture as operated and implemented by the state and its agents. PhD research draws on gender studies and discourse analysis and seeks to situate the Greek case within a feminist critique that emphasises the politics of gender and the dominant discourse of nationalism.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)


Women, gender violence, political violence, nationalism, state oppression, Greece, Greek Civil War, military dictatorship

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



December 2012

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

09 May 2013 14:54

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 11:20



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