Marginalization, according to Webster, is “the treatment of a person, group, or concept as insignificant or peripheral.” In the text, the recurrent marginalization of ethnic minorities in Greek are defined in terms of the binary relationship of “Hellenism” and “Greekness.”

Given Greek’s historical standing as “the cradle of Western civilization”(174), Hellenism alludes to the glorified and idealized aspects of ancient Greek history which use cultural lineage and national purity as a validation to relegate under-represented communities, racial minorities and/or immigrants. Conversely, Greekness pertains to an understanding of Greek identity that acknowledges the multiple population shifts and incorporates “the histories of ethnic minorities that are invisibilized in the dominant rhetoric.” (175) 

I believe marginalization is a crucial word and concept related to our understanding of refugeehood and the immigrant experience in Greece, as it echoes the dichotomous relationship between Greece’s “fragmented” national identity today and historical “purity”.  Overall, Natalie Zervou demonstrates the importance of recognizing that minorities and immigrants living on the fringes of Greek society, are in fact an integral part of its evolving national identity.

Works Cited

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary Accessed 9 Jan 2018. Zervou, Natalie. "Bodies of Silence and Resilience: Writing Marginality." Congress on Research in Dance Conference Proceedings, 9 Jan 2018. Accessed