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Tsoukalas, I. (2019). Apprentice Cosmopolitans: Social identity, community, and learning among ERASMUS exchange students. (Doctoral dissertation). Stockholm: Socialantropologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Apprentice Cosmopolitans: Social identity, community, and learning among ERASMUS exchange students
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present dissertation is an ethnographic study of the Erasmus Programme, the European Union’s student exchange programme. This programme has, for the last three decades, resulted in an unprecedented exchange of ideas and people within the European Union, and it has quite radically changed the conditions for, and the appearance of, student life in many European universities. Over the years the community has developed a distinctive lifestyle, replete with partying and travel, and is characterized by a strong social cohesion and exclusive ethos.  Empirically the study is a multi-local field study involving participant observation and interviews in two European capitals, namely Stockholm and Athens. Both present and former Erasmus students have been included in the study and were followed for an extended period of time. The study takes a close look at some of the experiential and social processes of the ‘Erasmus lifestyle’ and tries to understand them in the light of wider cultural and political processes such as the European unification process, cosmopolitanism, youth culture, and tourism. In the process it surveys part of the programme’s political history, local configuration, social dynamics, communication practices and global interfaces. According to the present thesis, the Erasmus Programme can be seen as a learning apprenticeship through which the young students gain entrance to and get valuable training in the reality of living in an increasingly interconnected world. The strong experiences engendered by the programme, both emotionally and cognitively, lead to a transformation in the student’s self-perception, social representations and social identity. For some students the programme leads to a drastic reconfiguring of their social networks and extant allegiances (e.g., towards their nation, culture), prompting them, after the end of their sojourn, to explore new venues in terms of career development, family life, and place of residence. Although the students do not seem to integrate with the host country to any significant degree, their extended experience of transnational mobility and their first-hand acquaintance with cultural diversity within the group encourages them to develop a more cosmopolitan outlook on the world and their place within it.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Socialantropologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, 2019. p. 156
Stockholm studies in social anthropology, ISSN 0347-0830 ; 21
multisite ethnography, cosmopolitanism, exchange students, mobility, transnational networks, cultural diversity, learning apprenticeship, liminality, transformative experience, life world, social identity, social representations
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Anthropology
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-169926 (URN)978-91-7797-775-9 (ISBN)978-91-7797-776-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-09-20, Seminarierummet, SCORE, Västra Nobelhuset, Frescativägen 14A, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2019-08-28 Created: 2019-06-23 Last updated: 2022-02-26Bibliographically approved
Tsoukalas, I. (2012). The origin of REM sleep: A hypothesis. Dreaming (New York, N.Y.), 22(4), 253-283
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The origin of REM sleep: A hypothesis
2012 (English)In: Dreaming (New York, N.Y.), ISSN 1053-0797, E-ISSN 1573-3351, Vol. 22, no 4, p. 253-283Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article presents a new theory about the origin of REM sleep. REM is an integral part of the human sleep cycle and the neurological substrate most consistently associated with dreams and dream recall. According to this thesis, REM sleep evolved out of a primordial defensive reflex: tonic immobility. This reflex, sometimes also called death-feigning or animal hypnosis, is usually the last line of defense against an attacking predator. Tonic immobility, common in both vertebrates and invertebrates, has a number of neuroanatomical and behavioral attributes that overlap with those of REM sleep. This overlap is suggestive of an evolutionary kinship. The article presents conceptual arguments and empirical facts in support of this relationship.

REM spleep, tonic immobility, narcolepsy, amnesia, thermoregulation
National Category
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-86003 (URN)10.1037/a0030790 (DOI)000313313100004 ()
Available from: 2013-01-10 Created: 2013-01-10 Last updated: 2022-02-24Bibliographically approved
Tsoukalas, I. (2007). Exploring the microfoundations of group consciousness. Culture & Psychology, 13(1), 39-81
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring the microfoundations of group consciousness
2007 (English)In: Culture & Psychology, ISSN 1354-067X, E-ISSN 1461-7056, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 39-81Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article will explore the microfoundations of group consciousness. In order to do that it re-examines two wellestablished theoretical traditions within Western social science, the social cohesion paradigm within social psychology and the various mind-body theories within anthropology and sociology, hoping that this re-examination will have intellectual bearing on the issue of group consciousness and group action. As a result of this analysis it is suggested that the different ways a group enacts its ideology can help shed new light on many features of group life. A relatively new theory is therefore presented which can account for this relationship and also helps to organize and integrate many of the earlier findings that pertain to the issue of group consciousness and group action. This theoretical framework, originally developed by Harvey Whitehouse, postulates that divergent modes of encoding have differential social effects. More specifically, there are two distinct modes of encoding, two distinct psychological ways of relating and acting within the framework of a group's ideology that are worth particular attention: the doctrinal mode of encoding and the imagistic mode of encoding. Their differences, manifested in the formal and informal behavior of groups, are many. Some of them, like organizational structure, change patterns, leadership style, centralization-decentralization aspects and institutional practice, are explored in depth. Whitehouse's cognitive theory is finally coupled with findings from sociology in order to furnish a fuller account of the social underpinnings of group-related phenomena. In particular we use Mark Granovetter's network theory in order to show how interactional patterns can have an influence on issues of group consciousness. The two theoretical strands are fused into a dual model which shows great promise and merits further attention. In the final part of the article examples are given in order to illustrate the real-life relevance of the stipulated model.

behavioral consequences, cognitive theory, dichotomous representations, group consciousness, group performance, ideology, network structure and change, social cohesion, social intervention, styles of codification
National Category
Social Anthropology
Research subject
Social Anthropology
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-56568 (URN)10.1177/1354067X07073650 (DOI)000245011200003 ()

authorCount :1

Available from: 2011-04-19 Created: 2011-04-19 Last updated: 2022-02-24Bibliographically approved

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