Christina Verousi

Personal Details

Christina Verousi

Christina is a full-time PhD student at the School of Criminology, University of Leicester, supervised by Dr Chris Allen and  Professor Neil Chakraborti. She is also a Graduate Research Assistant, working at the Centre for Hate Studies. Prior to embarking on her PhD in September 2017, Christina acquired a BSc in Journalism from the ‘Communication, Media and Culture’ Department at Panteion University of Athens. Her love for Criminology became apparent from a really early stage in her life and that prompted her to come to the UK immediately after she graduated to pursue an MSc in Criminology, which she was awarded by the University of Leicester in 2014. Christina was always eager in combining her fascination for journalism with her love for criminology and she managed to do so throughout her early professional career. After completing her MSc, Christina returned to Greece where she was employed mainly as a crime reporter, as well as an insurance agent. Her speciality in two different majors, along with her three-year-long employment, enabled her to enhance her organisational, communicational and interpersonal skills and gain experience in conducting fieldwork.

PhD Research

The idea behind Christina’s doctoral research emerged from her interest in hate studies and an identified gap in the studies of the multi-faceted phenomenon of Islamophobia in her home country. Her PhD involves documenting and exploring experiences of everyday problems and/or harassment that affect Muslim women’s lives. Christina’s research is not solely preoccupied with experiences that register as hate crimes but rather seeks to record a wider range of issues, such as state or individual harassment, restriction of access to sites or services and any other problems manifested within or outside communities. The findings of this research will give prominence to a variety of issues that afflict the everyday lived realities of participants, by allowing them to express them in their own individual way.

Greece is a particularly interesting case, for it provides some atypical examples. Firstly, Muslims in modern Greece do not constitute a homogenous group, as differences in economic and social status, ethnic or national identity and language exist. In addition, the Muslim community in Western Thrace is the only religious minority recognized by the Greek state and its status is safeguarded by the Treaty of Lausanne. The minority of Western Thrace has access to certain privileges, such as the right to withhold its religious hierarchies and construct mosques and Muslim cemeteries, privileges that are not available to any other Muslims residing in other parts of the country.

Christina’s research is divided between two geographical locations, Athens and Western Thrace. Included participants belong both to the ‘privileged’ minority in Western Thrace and the one in Athens that is deprived of basic rights, such as the access to an official prayer site. Thus, this study will have the opportunity to uncover issues and difficulties that those two communities share in common and/or individually experience. The methodological approach for this project will be a strictly qualitative one, including face to face semi-structured interviews that will be coded and analysed.

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